Showing posts from 2012

Spam email of the week

There is a lady at my work who is not very good at email. That seems like a weird thing to say since email is not a thing that a requires a certain skill set. But she is really not good at it. She is not very computer savvy in general, and is not all too concerned about adapting. For her, the fax machine was the last frontier of modern technology. She faxes everything, and is rather proud that she knows her way around a fax machine. It's good that she knows a lot about the fax machine since she is pretty much the only one who uses it. She also does not understand that you can create "folders" on your computer, and -- only because one time somebody taught her how to save documents -- she saves everything to her desktop. When she is not in the office, you can view her desktop, which is an absolute clusterblonk of crap files. It would completely cover her desktop image if she knew how to upload a desktop image. Also, if somebody emails her information that she needs to rela…

Because you care: the year in our favorite music

We here at So, Do You Like … Stuff?—when we’re not farting around, and sometimes when we ARE farting around—like to listen to music. We think it’s swell! For that reason and zero others, including BECAUSE YOU CARE, here are our 10 favorite albums of 2012, in descending order so as to add to the drama:

Band of Horses, Mirage Rock
J/k that album is terrible. Seriously, what happened to those guys?

No. 10: Family of the Year, Loma Vista
Can venture into corny and poppy at times, but I like it.

No. 9: Wild Nothing, Nocturne/Diiv, Oshin
I don’t like ties but I couldn’t decide. HIPSTER MESH.

No. 8: Two Door Cinema Club, Beacon
I’m somewhat averse to describing albums as “fun”—why should music be fun? It should be dark, weird, and introspective—but darn if this album is not.

No. 7:  Father John Misty, Fear Fun
No doubt the funniest, most honest, most fantastic album from a complete degenerate this year. I think “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” is the song of the year.

Looking good, Fat…

Spam email of the week

Subject: Alert! Your email will be blacklisted soon.

So guys, it turns out I have been the problem all along. I AM THE SPAM. How did this happen? I have no idea, but let's find out more about my spamness from this email that is totally not spam, but the spam police.

Dear  %email%,

Dear Spacebar Spacebar PercentageemailPercentageComma is the way this salutation reads in words. The spam police are hilarious. They just get it, ya' know?

We received complaints about spam coming from your network.


Spam bots are sending bulk emails, for the security reasons your email will be blacklisted.

Listen, the three spam bots we employ here have been told repeatedly to NOT send bulk emails or they risk termination. As their supervisor I will come to their defense here -- I do not believe these accusations. Turning to spam bots ... But so help me God if you three betray my trust after I put my neck out on the line ...

To avoid blacklisting please check your…

Holiday special review: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

This month we are reviewing cartoon Christmas television specials for some reason.

There are some Christmas specials that do not boast the same notoriety as others, yet remain close to our hearts for personal reasons. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” is mine. I like it because I remember watching it as a kid—that is the only requirement of my positive Christmas nostalgia, that I watched it on television—and whenever I bring it up in conversation, which is more often than I’d like to admit, no one has any idea what I’m talking about.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” is a 1974 animated special based on the famous 1823 poem by whoever wrote that. Because that poem is relatively short and succinct and unable to sustain 22 minutes of high-flying cartoon action, liberties are taken. The poem, for example, doesn’t explore the strong dynamic between a human family and mouse family that so often prefaces Christmas Eve.

The special begins with everyone in town receiving their letters to Sant…

Spam email of the week

Subject: You’ve just been nominated as a Top Doctor!

See that, MOM?

Hi Dr. Dahlin,

I am not a doctor and that is not my last name. But go on.

I’m extremely excited to share that you’ve just been nominated and have an opportunity to win our Top Doctor competition!

Cool! I hope I don't have to do something gross during this competition, like touch my eyeball, or perform surgery. Will this competition be on the CW Network or something, so I can focus more on drinking and fighting than doing doctor things?

NEXT TIME on "America's Next Top Doctor ..."

Host, Mario Lopez: Okay fellow doctors, today is a very important challenge -- Cardiothoracic surgery!

Juanita: I KNOW you just didn't say I look fat in my scrubs!

Me: I SAID you look UGZZ in your scrubs ... 'cause it rhymes, B!%@#! Throw wine glass across the room.


Mario Lopez: Unfortunately, you are NOT America's Next Top Doctor. Please hand in yo…

Holiday special review: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

This month we are reviewing classic and not-so-classic holiday television specials.

Before I even begin here, I just want to express how much I have always appreciated “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” When I was, say, 8 or 9, Hess gas stations began selling the special on VHS—“Buy 10 gallons of Hess gas and get ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for only $14.99!” or something; made sense at the time—and I made my mom go to Hess to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime deal. That tape, along with Michael Jordan’s “Come Fly With Me,” remains one of the most precious VHS items I have ever owned. And maybe my wedding video*, I guess.

My point is that I recognize “A Charlie Brown Christmas” as classic, a well-deserved designation.

But here’s the thing with that special, and this goes for Peanuts in general—it doesn’t really age well. This, to me, is how Charlie Brown cartoons have been absorbed by people of my generation: You love them as kid, defend them to the death, you go away to college, co…

Spam email of the week

Subject: Rocket Your Christmas Sales

This is clever verbiage. "Rocket" your Christmas sales, like a Christmas rocket. You know, from the timeless tale, "Christmas Rocket," in which a rocket gets lost in space and almost misses Christmas but is safely brought back to Houston when Santa's sleigh also gets lost in space and they work together and learn about teamwork. I made that all up but it actually sounds pretty good and is totally a holiday special I would watch every year. Somebody make that and give me money for it, thnx.

Rocket Your Christmas Sales


If you want to promote Message Broadcaster this Christmas

I do! What is Message Broadcaster? When is Christmas?

then a good marketing list is crucial.

You're preaching to the choir, junk email. In fact, I asked Santa for a "good marketing list" for Christmas this year, and I am confident that request adequately represents the true meaning of Christmas. He better find a way to email that…

Holiday special review: ‘A Garfield Christmas’

During the month leading up to Christmas, Mike will review popular or not-so-popular holiday specials. This review appears in 12/6 The Glendale Star and the 12/7 Peoria Times.

When I was a kid I took out “Garfield Goes Camping” from the library. I suppose the fact that I only rented books based on comic strips sort of defeated the purpose of going to the library, but at least I was reading. Anyway, apparently I loved the book so much that I never returned it, and out of fear of drastic repercussions never returned to the library. Was it worth it? It was worth it.

Because Garfield was awesome. An obese, sarcastic cat that loves lasagna? That type of genius comes along only once in a generation, and I consider it an honor and privilege that the accompanying televised cartoon existed during the prime of my childhood.  That popular cartoon was parlayed into a 1987 special, “A Garfield Christmas.”

The special begins as all great specials do—with a dream. Garfield is dreaming that it is C…

Spam email of the week

We have a lot of fun with these spam email posts around here. And by we I mean I. You probably hate them. That said, I understand the point of most of these spam emails is to steal your identity and/or money and cause irreparable damage to your bank accounts and dignity, which is all well and good. Sometimes, however, these emails are so far out there it's difficult to grasp their purpose.

For example, let's say you are a person interested in, oh I don't know ... obtaining oil from China. That is a pretty big expenditure, I would imagine. You probably have a secretary and assistants and stuff. Much of your business involves strong networking connections, flights across the world, political contacts. You probably know Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney is a contact in your phone. I guess what I'm saying is, you're probably not sitting at your computer waiting for an email to serve as a lead re: getting oil from China.

Or, better yet, say you're me, a person who blogs abou…

Holiday special review: ‘Frosty Returns’

During the month leading up to Christmas, Mike will review popular or, more likely, not-so-popular holiday specials. This review appears in 11/29 The Glendale Star and the 11/30 Peoria Times.

“Frosty the Snowman” is a special that contains all the essentials of classic, holiday entertainment: a talking snowman, an evil magician, a girl who can easily take a train to the North Pole with a talking snowman she just met five minutes earlier as long as she's "home for dinner," etc. It’s not really Christmas season until you’ve watched “Frosty,” and this year Christmas season began Nov. 23 on CBS.

Not so classic is “Frosty Returns,” the unnecessary early 90s follow-up to the original that now airs immediately after “Frosty” in an attempt to lure Americans into believing the two are comparable pieces of entertainment. Wikipedia goes out of its way to note “Frosty Returns” is not a sequel, since it was produced by Lorne Michaels (?!) Broadway Video and not Rankin/Bass, the compa…

Spam email of the week

Subject: RE:Re:1Promotional giftsStage lighting Downtown lights up with Glendale Glitters spectacular ...

This email is regarding something regarding something. That something is Glendale Glitters, a holiday celebration in Glendale, the city where I work. The extent of my role in Glendale Glitters is that I have attended it with my family a few times. Oh, also I am in charge of the lighting for the event, I guess?

Hi Manager,

Stop. You had me at "Hi Manager." It's like this email is speaking directly to me, as if it knows everything about me, all of my inner secrets, hopes, dreams, wishes, fears, aspirations, my name ...

Good day. I am Doris from Flystar Lighting Co., Ltd.

Hi Doris. I am Manager from Company That Has Nothing To Do With What You Are Proposing.

We specialize in stage lighting production with high quality & very competitive price.

This is very relevant to me, Doris. I want to hear more, as I am very familiar with stage lighting and electricity in general a…

Parenting backfire: Stranger danger

We’re beginning to teach our daughter the important lesson of being fearful of everyone.
This is a slippery slope for all parents, and it definitely has been for us because our daughter is extraordinarily extroverted.

You know how sometimes you are required to talk to a child who is not your own? I have tried that before and it is usually very unsuccessful. The child rarely responds to my inane question or comment and instead stares at me like I am the villain of a recently-viewed cartoon and then cowers behind the leg of a nearby, trusted adult. It is a very uplifting experience.

Our daughter is not like that, which makes me both proud and scared. She will ask a stranger in a grocery store existential questions—“S’cuse me why you be like that?”—from the seat of a shopping cart-car hybrid vehicle before that stranger even knows she is there.

She also has a sixth sense for soliciting strangers who so obviously do not want to be bothered. If you are 96 years old and walking around Tr…

Spam email of the week

Subject: Creative Design and Development Services

Seems somewhat legitimate -- and exciting! -- right? This email is from a person, or something, called "Janvi." It's also in giant blue font.



Greetings of the day!

Greetings of the day to you, too? I have never heard this expression. Did "Hello" not qualify?

My name is Janvi, and I am working as a Business Development Manager in a Firm.

Like, THE firm? The one where they tried to kill Tom Cruise? That is dangerous, Janvi! Get out of there while you can! You can't, you say? You're in too deep? That sucks. Oh well, we might as well discuss a search engine optimization plan.

We are a Web Design and Development firm based in India, with over4 years of experience.

I like how you bolded it and all, but four years isn't that many years, Janvi. Also, India? I KNOW you're not talking about outsourcing o'er here. Mo fo I work in Arizona -- we officially recognized Martin Luther King Day la…

Taking it to the bank, literally

I’m pretty open to advances in technology, even if I’m often relatively late to the game. I think I’m part of that niche generation that was young enough to witness and accept the tech boom, but old enough to still be confounded by it. I am caught in the middle. If something weird happens to our laptop, I will literally just hand it to my 25-year-old brother-in-law and say, “Fix it.” Yet I am often the troubleshooter for my parents. (The troubleshooting is usually me telling them to just click “yes” on a pop-up box or telling them to call my brother-in-law.)

I embrace technology, so much so that it becomes for me a source of embarrassment to do something the old way. In fact, I will often blame outside factors for my inability to do something rather than just admit I have no idea what’s going on. Last week during some correspondence with a customer, I received an email that was like, “Please confirm via E-tear or scan and attach E-confirm form from web hoster.” I responded something a…

Spam email of the week


Today's email is from my old friend, Chevron Oil Company. Unfortunately, Chevron, a multi-gazillion dollar oil company, could not attain the domain "@chevron." (Thankfully for all, they were able to get that as their Twitter handle, so if you like your oil updates swift and hilarious, follow @chevron.) Nope. They had to shorten it to @chv. Ya' know, THAT, or this email is complete bullshit.

Subject: Greetings!

The subject is "Greetings!"


Color me greeted.

I am Prof Abdul Wahid. a staff of the Chevron Oil Company,

Why, hello gas professor. You know, my wife oftentimes calls me the gas professor, so it appears we have an identity conflict here. Ha, ha, ha! Of course I am referring to farts. You probably get that a lot. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, you are a staff of the Chevron Oil Company. That is interesting. Do you mean you are a long piece of wood or metal the Chevron Company carries around so it doesn't fall down?…

Sandy’s impact should affect us all

There were several factors involved in our decision to move from New Jersey to Arizona five and one half years ago, but if we had to boil it down to one reason, it was weather. We moved to Arizona for the weather.

Now, by “weather,” with regards to back east, I mean the brutally cold winters; de-icing the car on a dark, frigid Monday morning; blizzards and snowstorms that, great as they were as a kid, were nothing but inconvenient and dangerous as adults; incessant and unpredictable rain during all seasons that made it near impossible to make outdoor plans; unbearable summer humidity. By “weather” I never meant a natural disaster.

That’s what Superstorm Sandy was and is—a natural disaster. And it’s a very strange feeling to be here now, far removed from New Jersey and New York physically but not at all emotionally, spiritually. Our families and friends are all still there, and while they are all thankfully safe, they are living amidst the wreckage of a storm from which it seems impossib…

Spam email of the week

Subject: Your Chinese Partner

When I so much as scroll across this email, I get a pop-up box that reads, "To display language characters correctly you need to install the following language pack: Chinese Simplified." I declined to install a Chinese-to-English software program on my hard drive because, I figure, if anyone is sending me something in Chinese, it is probably irrelevant to me because: ? Nevertheless, even though I did not install the software this email is still strangely legible. Because it is in English. I am confused, yet elated.

Also, I didn't even know I had a Chinese partner. How was this not made known to me earlier, MOM? I have always desired a Chinese partner in some sort of endeavor, so this is very exciting. I wonder what his or her name is. Let me scroll to the bottom ... it's probably something very Chinese ...

Sincely Jack Davis Engineering manager
That is so stereotypically Chinese it's borderline offensive. Oh, you can't spell "…

The importance of face time

Face Time is a built-in app on the iPhone whereby one can video chat with a fellow iPhone user. It’s possible we use this feature more frequently than the regular ol’ phone audio because our respective parents would prefer to see their granddaughter rather than just hear her. They couldn’t care less about us, honestly. I don’t even make an appearance in the majority of our Face Time sessions, and spend most of them shirtless while washing dishes. (I am usually close to naked around the house. I am always hot here.)

These calls offer varying degrees of success, and by that I mean they are almost always unsuccessful. For example, we attempted to Face Time with my dad last week and it kept freezing. When this happens, it typically freeze-frames on your worst possible expression. So our daughter became frustrated that Pop was not answering her and confused as to why his funny face was stuck. At least with my parents, we can quickly come to a mutual decision that it isn’t working and end i…

Spam email of the week (Pt. II)

Subject: Hello

Of course the subject is "Hello." "Hello" is a topic of conversation and not a mere salutation in Spambot Land, where the money is free and the rivers flow with the blood of the identity-less.

I am Ms minnie how are you!


hope you are fine and in perfect condition of

Actually, Ms. Minnie, if you really want to know, I have been battling some acid reflux -- do you not follow my blog? -- and recently my jaw started experiencing this weird, sharp pain and also my toe nails are just ... they're not healthy, is all I can really say there. Overall I am fine though, thanks.

please do not be upset by receiving this email from me as we never
meet or know each other before.

What upsets me, mostly, is that sentence. Listen, Ms. Minnie -- if you're going to send out emails to people you don't know and are already anxious ab…

Spam email of the week

Subject: Very important to you! is not spam

I know we call this feature "Spam email of the week," but this email, according to this email, is not spam, so my apologies. It ended up in my junk mail folder and it was sent by, or if you prefer, -- those are just too many dots -- and which are both people or things I am unfamiliar with. Nevertheless, not spam. And not only is this not spam, it is very important to me. ! I am therefore assuming this is about my family or fantasy football team(s).

Hello, I would like to offer you the best email list today on the market,

ARE YOU EVEN SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? How lucky am I? The best email list on the market? I don't know what I did to deserve this -- other than periodically check my junk email folder to see what dumbass nonsense was in there -- but my hard work has obviously paid off.

Just a few questions: a) What constitutes the best email list? Is it better than the one I currently h…

The lil’est slugger

We signed our daughter up for Lil’ Sluggers baseball on Saturday mornings. This was a risky move on the heels on Soccer Tots last fall, during which she had an all-out meltdown in five of the six sessions. Nevertheless, it’s important she remains active, and even more important I move forward with my plan of imposing the sport of baseball on her whether she likes it or not. It is my responsibility as a father.

Luckily, she seems to like baseball naturally. She has a baseball tee set in the backyard. Yes, it is pink, since “apparently every manufacturer in the world feels the need to gender-specify.” (- Wife) She also has a glove, which is also pink because I simply could not find a regular kid’s baseball glove. All the other (boys) gloves had pictures of Transformers or Spongebob Squarepants on them because: baseball. It is no longer possible to purchase a normal baseball glove for a child, fyi.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, she does enjoy hitting off the backyard tee, so we figured th…

Spam email of the week

Subject: Auto insurance (9/17/2012)

I work at a weekly newspaper, so it's important I'm up to speed (pun) on the latest news re: car insurance. Also, FINALLY someone has the wherewithal to include the date of the sent email in the subject header. I mean, is that so hard to do? Like many people who use email, I am not able to sort my email by date, and thus I am frequently saying things like, "Argh! Where is that email from whoever about whatevs from Tuesday the 23rd? WHY IS MY DEFAULT EMAIL SORT SETTING ON 'CAT MENTIONS' AND HOW DO I FIX IT?"

Our company is part of a platform of nearly 37 million people,

Whoa, slow your roll, playa! Not even a greeting? No, "Hello Beloved," or "To my sincerest" or "DEAR NEWSPAPER?" I'm offended.

Okay I'm over it. Go on with this thing about your company being part of a platform, which doesn't mean anything or make sense.

mostly United States and Canadian based.

Cool. Like many, I don…

The strip mall right-of-way, where everyone is wrong

The Arizona strip mall is a phenomenon unlike any I have ever seen. It is also the most dangerous place in the world.

Let us begin with the strip mall itself. If you have a business in the West Valley, you exist in a strip mall. The only free standing structures in this state are houses, so the only way to be sure you’re not in a strip mall is to find a bed. Unless you’re in a mattress store, in which case you’re definitely in a strip mall.

This is all well and good I suppose, except that there is no way of knowing what stores are in a strip mall unless you drive into one. Driving into a strip mall, however, does not come without risks. That is because the dyslexic child engineers who designed strip mall parking lots here did so in the most confusing way imaginable.

Here is my experience driving in any strip mall here: I am driving safely. Here comes an intersection. It looks like I don’t have a stop sign here but let me just be cautious because … yep, they blew their stop sign. I gue…