Showing posts from July, 2012

Fighting fire with fire, with the help of mother

You may recall that a couple months back I went on a fast. Since then my body has been completely out of whack. Apparently my system was shocked by the absence of caffeine/beer/cheese, and then shocked again by the reintroduction of those very things. It’s easy to blame the fast, but it’s more likely the simple fact that I am getting older. I do, after all, have graying sideburns. That said, I’m sure it was the fast.

One of the things I have seemingly been confronted with is acid reflux. According to my doctor, a.k.a. the Internet, acid reflux happens when your stomach creates too much acid or whatever and it refluxes or something. The remedy is to take one of the drugs that I’ve seen on TV but never had any idea what it was for because I assumed, “I’m a young guy, I don’t need to pay attention to this.” Flomax? Dercatex? The one where the couple is taking a bath outside? Probably that one.

Anyone who knows me (post college) knows that I don’t like drugs. I prefer to do things the nat…

Spam email of the week

Subject:   S?? services for your site

Hey, you know what the average person loves to see in his inbox on any given morning? Subject headers with an overabundance of random punctuation. Granted, this particular spam is pretty modest. They’re usually like:

Subject: ^^^YOU're.GERLFRIEND @SATISIFiED ???? biggerPENIS! awaits!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, to answer your question—was that a question?—no, I don’t need S?? services for my site. Actually, wait. Depends. What are S?? services?



I’ve found out that you’re interested in buying links to your site(s)

a) How the heck did you find out about that? I’ve told no one except … thanks a lot, Father Tom! So much for confidentiality. b) Your inside sources and investigative work are evident in the number of sites you are aware that I operate. c) What? Honestly, what does it mean to buy links for a site? I don't know what that is.

Am I right?

The weird thing is ... you ARE! But also, you are not, because I don't know what is happeni…

One man’s humble attempt to rid the world of junk

Part of my job here at the newspaper is determining which of the emails I receive are useful and important and which of them are terrible and pointless. If I had to put a ballpark figure on it, I would say that 96 percent of the emails I get fall into the latter category.

Email has been around long enough that we as a society have simply accepted junk email for what it is. It’s considered not even worth our time to ponder the unimaginable pointlessness of it all. Junk email has become a necessary evil that people just deal with. Dare I have the gall to say: Let us not do that anymore.

I’m not talking about junk email in the sense of, you purchased an item on Overstock and mistakenly forgot to unclick the box that reads “Send me updates and offers!” and everyday you receive 800 emails from Overstock and all attempts to unsubscribe from the email list only seem to feed it and make it angrier until your inbox is flooded with coupon offers and you have to completely change your email addr…

Spam email of the week

Subject: AD CONTENT...I need pricing estimate

I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but it seems like someone has some AD CONTENT that he needs a pricing estimate for. That someone? None other than our old friend who I've never heard of/from before and two-first-name-having gigolo, Ken Stewart. (Note: The period there is not to end the sentence; Ken Stewart. ends in a period, according to Ken Stewart.((.))).



We are pleased to inform you


that we are interested in placing the recruitment advertising

Oh. I guess that is also exciting, that I would have some work to do, were this email not spam.

with your newspaper publications today and I would be so glad if you can quote me to place the below employment ad content in your newspaper for 3 weeks in print and 30 days for the online categories.

First all, take a breath, Ken Stewart. Also, will it really make you so glad -- so glad -- if I can quote you on an ad? I…

Inspiring T-shirt transcends everyday moral struggle

Few things spark my internal moral struggle more than the beggar on the side of the road.

When I was a young boy, my mom took us into NYC and gave us each $10 to spend. That was a crazy amount of money for a little kid to be working with, and my mind raced with the possibilities of what I should buy. A bootleg VHS of “Goonies?” Eh. The Yankees? Maybe.

As the day progressed, nothing seemed to strike my fancy. It’s possible my expectations were simply too high; even as a kid I could recognize that everything being sold on the street was junk. As we walked along, we approached a table where a woman was collecting money for the homeless in an empty water container. Something just felt completely right about investing my money there, and my decision was immediately justified by the woman’s over-the-top reaction. My mom was proud.

Since then, I’ve always had a soft spot for the person begging for cash. Although the empathy has remained, as I’ve grown older my naïveté has dwindled. God only kno…

Classic card of the week

Kent Tekulve, 1989 Score
Kent Tekulve was a submarine pitcher who wore Blue Blockers when he pitched. Did it add an allure of mystery and even fear to his performances? I don’t know, let’s ask this card.

Kent, a veteran submarine reliever who strikes fear in the hearts of righthanded hitters

In all seriousness, I honestly do not know how major league ballplayers are able to read submarine-style pitches. Personally, I would just stand there and hope for a walk, all the while fuming that this fluky pitching motion is causing me to stand there and wait for a walk. I would also be deathly afraid that every pitch was going to hit me, but then again, I would probably feel that way about every pitcher, which is one reason I am not a major league ballplayer (another reason: talent).
Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say with regards to Mr. Tekulve …
Tekulve is well known fo…

Mom joins facebook; status update: confused

My mom joined facebook.

She did not do so in order to seek out old childhood friends, keep tabs on current ones, or have another avenue by which to monitor the growth of her granddaughter. No, she joined facebook so that she could register for a swimming event in preparation for a triathlon. Obviously.

To that extent, she joined facebook reluctantly. I have been trying to recruit my mom to facebook for a while, but she has always refused to do so. I’m pretty sure my dad has convinced her the site will cause the ultimate fall of Babylon and she best not be on the wrong side when it does. My in-laws also refuse to join. My mother-in-law saw one negative story about facebook on The Today Show and she now believes someone called “Marks Zuttenburg” invented adultery.

It’s not even that I think facebook is all that great. It can be annoying and redundant. It does, however, provide a convenient and consistent means of staying in touch. The fact that my parents and in-laws steadfastly refuse …

Spam email of the week

Subject: Dear Ad Rep.

It's really the personal nature of spam emails that are so gracious and inspiring. This particular email was sent to every person in our office and forwarded to me approximately 38 times because no one here bothers to say, "Oh, this looks like absolute nonsense. I should delete it rather than forward it and sustain its existence." Nevertheless, the point is that whoever sent this was going to find an Ad Rep. by any means necessary, and I respect that. Also, I am not an ad rep.

Dear Ad Rep,

In case you felt misled by the subject header. The "Dear" is a nice, affectionate touch, although I do feel that the accuracy of spam emails would be improved were they all to begin, "Human:"

I am  Lewis Tony

(Note: The random indentation is Lewis Tony's, not mine.) As a man with two first names, I find it offensive that so, so many spam emails are attributed to an absurd, two-first-name-having person. "Lewis Tony?" Really? ARE YOU …

Brave father teaches tough love lesson on bed ownership

We went on a family getaway to Sedona last weekend. It was only a one-night stay, but one dilemma was the sleeping situation.

Our daughter still sleeps in her crib, but my wife and I are currently in discussions regarding a bed. In fact, my wife agreed to take a small bed our friends were looking to unload. When they came to drop it off I was like, “Okay, cool. Looks like our daughter will be sleeping in a bed now.” It turns out I was incorrect, not because our daughter is not ready for a bed, but because my wife is not ready, emotionally, for our daughter to be sleeping in a bed. I was told to put the new bed in the garage, although I could not do that because the garage is already filled to the brim with stuff my wife has agreed to take but that we are not ready for yet as a family.

Of all the things we took with us for the weekend, one thing we forgot to take was the portable crib. This would have been fine had I booked a room with one giant king bed, in which case my wife and I co…