I'm having stomach problems this morning. On my way in to work I was driving somewhat fast, both because I was running late and because I could feel stuff brewing down south. I hit a patch of potholes. While I bounced around it occurred to me, "Thank god diarrhea isn't carbonated."
Later I'll have a link to the video that Derek made of me performing at Freak Train, as well as a link to the podcast we recorded last night.
Just this minute I received an email from Gotoso Diogo with the subject line "Anna Nicole: The Mystery of Her Death"
The body of the email went on to tell me that she died from an enlarged penis. Her own or someone else's; it wasn't made clear. It was very cryptic. It appeared to be trying pass itself off as spam, seemingly selling me the "#1 Penis Enlargement Solution in the World," but with that subject line I knew there was a deeper meaning. Surely it wasn't chosen at RANDOM. No, my friends, this is not spam. Oh no. There's something "they" don't want us to know about the death of Anna Nicole. The "mystery" of it, if you will. I'm certain that this was really a disguised message from the people "in the know."
How can I be so sure? The answer is hidden in the coded message at the end: "ftkpkkkmkfkjkfmuhmiihihqhkhnhkhhhlishuiolhhthghh"
See? There can be no denying it. If you can't decode it, you weren't meant to know, but I will say that what it reveals is chilling in its evil.
If you do figure out the message, be quiet about it though. Just knowing this could jeopardize your life. The email said "100% Guaranteed risk free" which is obviously meant as a warning of the extreme danger you will be in if you learn of this cover-up. I'm not afraid. I live with fear on a daily basis. I have a teenaged son.
Just remember, the truth of Anna's death is out there. It's walking on three legs.
Luckily we have Gotoso Diogo risking his life to warn us.
Smart money lost. I performed. I was see-sawing all the way up to the point where I picked a slot. About halfway through my "act" I started shaking and couldn't stop. I don't know if another time will be better or not. We'll see. I plan to give it another go in a couple months. I went on between Pat and Derek. It was fun, in a "holy CRAP! WHAT AM I DOING?" kind of way. Now I have to go to sleep, for tomorrow I must work. Talk to you all later.
The Freak Train day. The stand up comedy 5-minute act of doom and total embarrassment ending in ritual suicide under the hot, hot lights. Okay, I won't kill myself. At least consciously. Who knows what my mind may do to me once I'm on the stage looking out at the audience shrouded in deep shadow.
It may go pop. I'll fall over and that will be that.
I'm still see-sawing between going through with it and just going.
I have something prepared. An old post from 2004 that I rewrote and rewrote again starting last night. So yeah, that's another thing against me. Damned near no time spent practicing or even thinking about what I'll be doing. I did record myself reading through the first rewrite a few times and it averaged out to about 2 minutes 30 seconds. I will do my best to not rush through it, but I tell you now if nobody's laughing by the end of the first couple "jokes" I will transform into Speedy Mouth McMumbler. I'll be their shortest act ever.
That's assuming I do it, and don't wuss out. Smart money's on wuss out. It looked a bit windy earlier.
I'm pretty sure someone will be recording, so when the video's up I'll post a link. If there's anything to post. See? See-sawing. One second I want to do it, the next I'm thinking its a bad, bad idea. "Licking a light socket" bad.
I'll also record an MP3 of the "act" tomorrow night and post it in the coming week. Whether I go on stage or not.
It's been awhile since I've done anything with the spam that used to flood my inbox. As you can tell if you have stopped by Spam-A-Palooza lately. I say "used to flood my inbox" because our IT guys have managed to shut the flow down to a trickle. That's great and all, but it makes material scarce. Luckily I've been holding on to quite a few for quite awhile, just waiting for the posting urge to strike. It has struck, in a tiny way. I will now give you a few morsels of spam. My comments, as usual, in red.
From: Ketty Kloecker Subject: Don't pass by for god sake. Render assistance, you heartless bastard! Date: March 21, 2007 6:14:53 PM MDT To: collin
Hi Something attractive are occur with SCPT, did you saw I did saw! I did! It so attractive! Make me horny! So horny! .02 x.04 ? You betcha. .02 x.04 worth of horny! I think we need to buy it before it reach 0.06 mark. Do you? Are you sure? That's .02 more horny if we wait! Let's wait! Let the horny build and build!
LOOK at statistic. Do I gotta? I'm busy letting the horny build! Sigh. Fine.
Last Trade: 0.04 Change: Up 0.02 (81.82%) Prev Close: 0.02 Volume: 5,421,146 Now, I'm no money guru, but wouldn't an increase from .02 to .04 equal a 100% increase? *Ahem* I mean 'Statistic make me horny even more!' So much volume! So attractive!
But do not tell me later thet i wasn't noticed you. I couldn't if I wanted to.
Truly Yours, Ketty If you are truly mine, can I sell you? I think that should be allowed. Apply you towards my student loans.
Best spam title I've gotten lately: "Jennifer keeps the room warm."
Unfortunately, that's the only good thing about that one. No explanation how she does it. Nothing further is said of Jennifer. Just more babble about stocks I don't realize I want.
From: nevil ambrosius (email@example.com) Subject: Sir, your product works like no other. It does indeed. So you'll be buying a thirty then? Date: March 20, 2007 9:23:05 PM MDT To: antonina (collin@blahblahblah) WTF? Like I'm not going to know my own name? Who the hell is Antonina? Answer me Nevil Ambrosius, you prick!
Did you know that a recent survey showed that 85% of women actually get aroused by a man who produces "above average" semen amounts? Who does these surveys? Do they just hang around WalMart with a clipboard and a lewd expression? "Excuse me miss, does THIS much semen make you horny?" Produces a pint bottle full of teeny wigglers from behind his back. Notes reaction. Moves on. With our pills, she'll be speechless... They're mostly alum. Damned handy if the lady of the bedroom is a bit too chatty. and defiantly coming back for more... Give me what I want or I'll smack you into Tuesday!
Other than a link and filler text, that was it. The entire sales pitch. I'm left unconvinced.
Well. Okay. Not me exactly. Someone with my name was though. Shot and killed back in September of 1999.
I decided to google my name after reading an article on Lifhacker about how to Have a say in what Google has to say about you. In addition to having the top spot linked to my post about Viacom ordering YouTube to take down my video, it turned up this:
--- September Murder Remains Unsolved
After-hours shooting in Central Square leaves a Boston man dead
On Saturday, September 18, 1999, at 3:15 a.m., 30-year-old Collin Burton of Dorchester, with two friends, stopped at Hi-Fi Pizza in Central Square after a night at the Hong Kong and the House of Blues. A green Ford Explorer pulled up outside the Hi-Fi. Burton had a conversation with the occupants, then banged on the hood of the vehicle. The man in the passenger seat then fired through the open window, striking Burton once in the chest. Burton’s friends rushed him to Boston Medical Center, where Burton died the following Monday. Burton’s friends have cooperated with the investigation, but no arrests have been made and no warrants have been issued.
This murder has elevated fears of violence in Central Square, which has long been Cambridge’s most prolific drug and robbery hot spot. Several drug related shootings in Area 4 were reported in the weeks preceding this murder. ---
Freaky seeing your name associated with a death. Even more so when it's murder.
Also, don't count on an Illustration Friday post from me this week. Still no ideas and even less time. Yes. That's right. Less than no time.
It's 4:21 am. I've been up since 3-ish. Heather woke up early and discovered she'd been infested by the cleaning bug. Unfortunately, she had no idea that cleaning the wood slat blinds in the kitchen windows would sound to me in the bedroom like someone was eating the house. Then, after finding out what was going on, I was unable to get back to sleep because my mind was a-whirl with thoughts about Freak Train.
Oh? Didn't I mention? Derek, earlier in the week, said that Freak Train – open mic stand up comedy night in Denver at the Bug Theater – happens to fall during Spring Break and I'd once said that I would go if the kids were on vacation. I was thinking in the Summer. Apparently not as late as that.
So I said if I could arrange it, I would go and watch. See what it's like. Stuff.
He said, "Oh no! If you go you HAVE to perform! You're the funniest person I know. We'll do something together. It won't be as bad that way."
I immediately thought back to the time that Derek, Ray, Scott and I "performed" the song 'Brick House' at the company's Christmas party ala Karaoke. Good times. I lie.
He's reworking one of the spoof commercials that I did with him a while back. Going to stretch it from 30 seconds to an eternity. Okay. Five minutes. It'll just feel like an eternity.
Anyhow, what was keeping me up was thoughts of my own thing that I could do, in addition to the skit with Derek. I figured I might center it around stage fright my attempts to get over it. A couple of things already came to mind as I tossed and turned in a doomed attempt to get back to sleep.
I partly blame Bella Rosa for this thought being in my head at 3-ish. You see, she is going to take a shot at standup comedy in the windy city, but first she needs to rid herself of her stage fright. So she's put it on eBay. Follow up posts here and here. Heck, check out her whole site.
Now, obviously I can't do the same thing. For one, I would end up flooding the market for stage fright. The last thing I need is for someone to win my stage fright for a dollar. Shipping alone would cost me at least $10 because it's HUGE!
So what I need from you people are some ideas on how to get over my stage fright. Keep in mind that the BIG NIGHT (hyperventilating here) is a week from next Monday. So whatever you suggest has to be doable on the quick and the cheap.
And yeah. That's it. Almost...
* You remember a few posts back when I was talking about not having a stat tracker so I had no idea how many readers I have anymore? And how I found that one email in my junk folder from Site Meter indicating that I got, on average, one reader a day. Funny thing that. It seems that was for one of my other sites. Specifically "Visual Breakdown". When I read "Visual Breakdown" on the email I thought it was... you know... a visual breakdown of the traffic to my site. So. Yeah. Oops. Look at me forgetting what blogs I run. I figured out how to reinstall Free Hit Counter a couple of days ago, and now that it's had some time to count people I see that I'm getting more than one person a day. The numbers so far are 78 and 86. Now it's possible that's an inflated number since my posts for the last couple of days have included Viacom and YouTube and they are "news". Still, it surprised the heck out of me. So even though there are more of you than I thought, and I'm a doofus, I appreciate you all for coming by.
Okay. It's 4:59 now. If I hurry I might be able to get an hour of sleep. I'm still not sure if I'll have and Illustration Friday post later in the day. It depends on if I have time to draw at lunch. Yeah. My wakefulness is wearing off fast. I can't think straight anymore. Specifically I can't think of a way to stop writing. Argh. So... yeah. Please give me ideas on how to destroy my stage fright... and. Yeah.
I think I've mentioned on my site the podcast that Derek and I put together perhaps... three times? Maybe four?
We're up to episode 40 now and the new one just went "live". You can get to most of them at this link.
Alternatively you can listen to this weeks episode by clicking this nifty button that I stole from Derek's site:
The half hour this week is all about road rage and such, I gather. To be totally honest, I almost never listen to them after recording them, so most of the time I've forgotten what I've said. Part of it is probably due to my lifelong dislike for the sound of my own voice.
You know, if Derek would really like me to remember to mention the show every week, he should probably email me the link info every Wednesday rather than making me loot it from his domain. Don't you think?
This was happing exactly as I was writing my post about how I found out that my video was taken down from YouTube at the order of Viacom:
Viacom sues YouTube for 1 Beeeeeeelion dollars in real money. Link here.
I saw it had gone down after my third update to the post, but was so sick of re-posting the same thing I didn't mention it until now. Still, there you go. Boing Boing has an article about how Viacom is chock full of privacy-hating hypocrates. Link here.
A beeeeelion dollars... Can you belive it? I can't help but think of Dr. Evil with his pinky up to his lips, announcing the suit on behalf of Viacom. "Google... we have decided to sue YouTube for... one BEEEELION DOLLARS!"
On a happier note, I decided to fiddle with my last Illustration Friday drawing – because I really hate the kid – over the weekend. Here's the result:
I may or may not have something for "Wired" tomorrow. I have a few ideas in mind, but I'm not sure I'll have the time to do them.
The second movie that I uploaded to YouTube was the sketch I did for the Illustration Friday topic "Help". I noticed back at the beginning of March that the video was offline and the reason given was "copyright infringement". That was odd to me, since nothing about it could possibly be considered the property of someone else with the exception of the interface of the art program that I was using at the time: Alias Sketchbook Pro.
So I deleted the offline version, and re-uploaded the movie. After a bit of waiting, this was the result:
Why was that video rejected? Who's copyright can something that I made from my imagination, recorded myself and containing no audio be infringing? I've set out to discover that, starting with emailing YouTube support after a WHOLE lot of searching to even find out how. They don't make it easy.
From: Collin Subject: YouTube Support Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 11:29:23 -0800
username: Pensketch Language: en subject: other videolink: IF: "Help" sketch name: Collin userlink: IssueType: policy
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: [#119529285] YouTube Support Date: March 13, 2007 8:43:52 AM MDT To: Collin
I sincerely apologize for our delayed response to your email. We have received an exceedingly large volume of email recently, and are only now beginning to catch up.
We received notification from Viacom International. When we're notified that a particular video uploaded to our site infringes another's copyright, we remove the material as the law requires. If you feel a content owner has misidentified your content as infringing, you may file a DMCA counter-notification.
For more information, visit our Copyright Tips page, http://youtube.com/t/dmca_policy and http://youtube.com/t/howto_copyright
Heather The YouTube Team
I replied with:
Was it a blanket notification, or was my video specified for some reason? I only ask because I don't see how, apart from possibly what I named the video, Viacom can in any way lay claim to an original illustration that I drew and filmed myself. There's no audio in the entire movie that could possibly belong to them, and there is no area beyond my computer screen that is recorded.
If my video was specifically chosen by them, could you please tell me what they feel they own so I have an idea how to proceed? I will be following the links you provided later in the day when I have more time to commit to this.
In the meantime I've shortened the video slightly, changed the name to protect its innocence and it is "Live":
In the meantime I'm going to follow those links provided by the YouTube support-person and see how I can get the original video restored as my property.
As long as we are talking litigation, did I ever mention the time that Hormel threatened to sue me for a bumper sticker that I made for Heather? My girlfriend Heather; not support-person Heather.
I designed a bumper sticker for Heather's website that read "I (heart) MATTED SPAM!", and it was pink, yellow and purple and had a silhouette of her mermaid.
To get it printed I set it up at my CafePress store. After ordering the stickers I left it there, figuring it wasn't causing any harm.
Apparently Hormel's lawyers didn't agree and I received a cease-and-desist letter because my merchandise was too similar to their client's brand SPAM and their own bumper stickers "I (heart) SPAM". Never mind that the name for Heather's sticker is actually from a Badfinger song. Also, last I checked SPAM wasn't made from mermaids. Then again... New slogan! "SPAM: Chick of the sea."
Anyhow, due to the nature of and reason for the sticker I decided it wasn't worth fighting over, so I removed it from my store and that was that.
Now as I see it the difference between this and my YouTube movie is that I was contacted directly by the interested party, they explained how I was infringing and I voluntarily removed the offending product. I didn't get that from Viacom, or – so far – YouTube.
First, a quick follow-up to the $420 that I found in the Safeway (grocery store) parking lot on the first of this year: Other than the phone call I've heard nothing further from the woman who claimed the money had been hers. I'm inclined to believe that Trashman was correct and she was the assistant Manager's girlfriend or someone else willing to help him deflect my attention. Whatever.
--- That leads to a story that took place while Heather and I were shopping at the same Safeway last night. I didn't see the event discussed firsthand, but my cashier and bagger were talking about it, and it had just happened minutes earlier. The discussion went something like this:
Bagger: Hey, C. Did you see that old guy? What he did?
Cashier: No. What old guy?
B: This old guy went up to stand 9, bagged his groceries and left!
(I looked over at stand 9. The light was off, but about four employees were gathered there.)
B: Yeah! He just took his groceries. And he waved at Paul when he left!
C: I would have been like, "Hey! You can't do that!"
B: I know, huh?
C: Wow. Is he still in the parking lot?
B: No! He, like, took off!
It's funny. Heather gets really annoyed if our cashier doesn't talk to us, or even worse, talk among themselves, whereas I don't usually care one way or the other. The way I see it, if they don't want to talk to me, I don't want them to have to. It really makes me uncomfortable to be in an awkward conversation with someone that would prefer me to not be there. Also, if they are talking to each other, and you listen in, you can learn all sorts of things, like how Pablo was cheating on Stacey, but she'd found out and do you think he's cute, not that I'd go out with him or anything but if he and Stacey stay split up than who knows, you know? Yeah. Listening can be entertaining.
--- Since I made the mistake of changing over my template, I haven't had any kind of tracking poop in place so I have no idea how many people are bothering to visit my corner of the web any more. At least I didn't think I did. Turns out there is a stat tracker of some kind that has been emailing me every week, but the mail has been going to my junk folder. I saw one in there a few minutes ago. Opened it. Read it. Sighed. If it's in any way accurate, I'm getting, on average, one visitor a day. Most days are zero, some days are as high as five. Average is one. And there's a good chance it's counting me. Ah well, so it goes. If you are a reader who comes back more than once, I just want to say thank you. If you have any suggestions, or things you would like to see, please leave a comment.
--- I was thinking about money on the way in to work this morning. Specifically coins. More specifically old coins. What started me on that line of thought was the fact that my seventh anniversary with the company I work for recently passed and to mark the occasion they gave me a silver dollar for every year I've been there. So I had seven silver dollars handy, no paper money in my wallet, and a craving for breakfast burritos. A bit later I had three less silver dollars and a full belly.
None of the silver dollars were older than 1972, so there wasn't a speck of silver in them and their sum value to me was two burritos with a penny back (1980 D.).
But it got me thinking about those times when you find old, potentially valuable coins and bills in circulation. I've heard some people say for example, upon finding a very old coin, "Wow! Can you believe this has been going around from person to person since 1912?" To which I think, not really. But then I nod and play along because I might not be right. That said, I don't believe that most of the old money found these days has really been doing all that much circulating.
Here's what I think happens.
Someone a long time ago decides to collect some coins. Maybe he makes a serious effort and goes all out. Maybe he just tosses them in the back of a drawer or stuffs them in a sock as he finds them. Whichever. At some point this guy, and I'm going to be sexist here and say that the gender most likely to collect a coin is a guy because that's just the goofy kind of thing that guys do... at some point this guy beats the odds and has sex. Perhaps even more than once, that wanton odds breaker. The usual result of this sex is an offspring or two. The guy gets older. The offspring get older. The guy forgets about his coins that he had stashed away because his mind is on other things, like getting more of that sex. That shit's way better than coins! Being a guy from a few generations ago, he's probably not keeping much of an eye on the goings on of the offspring. That's wimmin's work. However, during this time they have evolved from stationary squawker/poopers through the rolley/crawlies and are now bipedal mini-shoppers with no real source of income. And they are terribly curious and able to get into any number of tight spaces. What ho?! Coins! Coins get candy and there are so many a few won't be missed. And that's how I think most of the old money gets back into circulation.
--- Have a great weekend you statistically non-existant reader, since I'm already at my average of one visitor today.
Not quite what I wanted it to be, but pretty much the best I could do in the time I allowed myself. I hate the kid. If you click on the image, you will be taken to the flickr page where you can see a larger version.
And here's the sketch:
Likewise, click to be taken to a magical land of bigger options.
I would like to say a quick "hello" to my two newest readers (that I'm aware of). First there's Nate who found me through a random click to a REALLY old post and most recently there's Totsie who found me... I have no idea how she found me. Although we do share a fair number of links. Thanks for coming by guys, and I hope you enjoy the site. I suggest you check out the archives since I'm so slow to post these days.
... is what's keeping me going. It's only the start of the fourth day of sickliness. Third day on medication. I taste my lungs.
Last week I saw something on the web about a politico dude seeking to outlaw the placement of balls on vehicles. Luckily I had the foresight to save the link at the time, so you can read all about it here: Just say not to truck nuts.
I'm sure you've seen them. You've been in traffic behind a manly truck, SUV or motor scooter, looked down below the license plate and seen a silly-huge pair of plastic dinglies swinging back and forth. So this politician seeks to make the display of these fake nuts illegal. It's nice to know that with everything else going on in this country these days, he has time to worry about something like this. He also plays the "for the children" card. Dude, the kids are probably the ones laughing the most.
Are ball on trucks stupid? I certainly think so. I place them in the same category as fake bullet hole stickers and "Calvin" peeing on anything. Much like certain bumper stickers, it tells me at a glance what type of humor the driver has and that I'd be wise to avoid him/her provided I'm given a choice. To me, balls on the back of a truck aren't funny. Balls hanging from the driver's sun visor so they line up with his chin would be funny.
Should they be illegal? No. They should be ridiculed. Just be prepared to have your face punched by the type of person who doesn't like to have his idea of funny made fun of. That's when the law can get involved. The nuts themselves shouldn't be illegal.
--- From the article, taken without permission, please don't sue me, my comments in red:
His bill would prohibit motorists from displaying anything resembling or depicting "anatomically correct" or "less than completely and opaquely covered" human or animal genitals, human buttocks or female breasts. The offense would carry a penalty.
So... if they are anatomically incorrect, would that be okay? Like, if there were three balls? Four? In different sizes and colors? What if they were clear plastic with goldfish in them? WHERE ARE THE LIMITS?
A hunter could still throw a freshly killed and uncovered deer in the back of his pickup, though, because the deer's body parts would be real, Myers said.
Does this mean that real parts would be allowed? That's even worse. Unless they belong to the driver. Then it's funny again.
Myers, 56, said he's trying to match the standards of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who has pledged to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. "We have a governor whose agenda is, 'Let's make us the best,' " the delegate said. "So let's clean up what our children are seeing on our roads."
Because, as we all know, children know what's best. Oh, and apples are oranges. Ooo! Here's an idea! Why not make a law that all children must be blindfolded while traveling? Sure, when they become adults they won't have any idea how to get anywhere, but at least they won't have seen anything that would have warped their wee brains.
(Myers) said he acted at the request of a constituent who was distressed by what he saw as he drove down a highway.
What kind of person would find that distressing? Maybe if they had your name on them, or they popped off the hitch, ricocheted off the road and came flying though your windshield. That would be distressing. But just seeing them wobbling along out there shouldn't distress you. Especially if you are a guy. If you are the kind of guy who goes into hysterics at the sight of plastic nuts, please, don't breed. Think of the children.
The truck ornament industry is not amused.
But really, when are they? Oh sure, back in the day when they first slapped a silhouette of a naked chick on a mud flap or when they landed the rights to Yosemite Sam ordering people to "BACK OFF!" they were a bit giddy. Since then, though, it's been lean ha-ha times. The renaissance of laughter seemed to be upon us with the creation of plastic testicles, but then lo and behold, a politico arrives on the scene to piss on the parade. Not one damned bit amused, thank you.
"It's not a perverted sexual thing at all," said David Ham, founder of Your Nutz, a San Diego-based business that sells more than 200 kinds of fake testicles. "It's a sense of humor. This lawmaker is looking out for two or three old women in tennis shoes. He's got too much time on his hands."
200 kinds? No freaking way! How does Ham know they are in tennis shoes? I'd imagine possibly loafers or even slipper socks. Don't pigeon hole the prudes to a single type of shoe. Or gender. Or age.
Ham said he shipped about 100 orders last year to customers in Maryland and Virginia. He said those who support a ban would do well to recall that 50 years ago, many people in the nation lived on farms. "Did all the little donkeys and sheep walk around with their panties on so children wouldn't see their bodies?" he asked.
Ham sounds like a fun guy to party with. Sure, he can be a bit condescending, but you know that wherever he is there is also beer. And oodles of dick jokes. ---
If, sanity forbid, this bill passes, I can't wait to see the first signs at the border ordering people to check their parts or face stiff penalties.