Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Classified Ads !!

LET'S PLACE SOME CLASSIFIED ADS!! YEA!!! FEW THINGS EVOKE SUCH A LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT

Dear Sir/Ma,

DEAR SIR OR MY MOTHER

I will like to place an Ad with your company and i want you to  get back to me with the total cost for the adverts to run for 6 weeks and below is my Ad text :

JIMINY CHRISTMAS TAKE A BREATH

***************************************************************


THIS LINE WILL SEPARATE MY EMAIL NONSENSE FROM THE NONSENSE I AM REQUESTING YOU OFFICIALLY PUBLISH

Ad Text : Barry & Associates, Inc....Full-time & Part-time/Accounting Managers & Sales Representatives. Requirements - Should be computer Literate,

COMPUTER LITERATE. YES THAT IS A PHRASE MANY COMPANIES USE THESE DAYS.

"POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE TELL ME CAN YOU READ A COMPUTER?"

"Ummm, not quite sure what that mea--"

"NEXT APPLICANT PLEASE"

Full charge bookkeeping experience. Reception and basic accounting knowledge needed. For more Details email at rab.john922@gmail.com

YES PLEASE EMAIL ME ABOUT THIS JOB AT MY PERSONAL GMAIL AND NOT ANYTHING BUSINESS-RELATED BECAUSE BARRY & ASSOCIATES IS FAKE I MEAN BARRY IS ON VACATION ... FROM EMAIL ... I MEAN HE IS DEAD WE HAVEN'T HIRED AN I.T. GUY YET. ALSO MY NAME IS RAB JOHN. FIRST NAME RAB LAST NAME JOHN. RAB JOHN. THERE ARE 921 RAB JOHNS ALREADY ON GMAIL NOT MY FAULT.

***************************************************************


BACK TO THE EMAIL PART

Kindly get back to me with the quote of the advert for 6 weeks,and also how do you  run your adverts?

DO YOU RUN THEM IN THE NEWSPAPER AND ONLINE OR DO YOU FLOAT THEM INTO THE SKY IN HOT AIR BALLOONS, IS WHAT I MEAN BY THAT QUESTION

i will happily like to via credit card,

THAT IS NOT A TYPO I DON'T PLAN ON PAYING OOPS I MEAN THAT IS A TYPO SORRY

i will email you the whole credit card details

THAT IS A THING HUMANS SAY RIGHT? "HERE IS MY WHOLE CREDIT CARD DETAILS PLEASE PROCESS I WANT TO PURCHASE THESE MOON BOOTS THANK YOU KINDLY"

to charge for the quote of our     advert.

SPEAKING OF MOON BOOTS MY SPACE BAR IS BROKE       N

Kind Regard.

ONE REGARD

Mr Rab.

TO REITERATE FIRST NAME RAB LAST NAME JOHN, IT'S MR RAB IN THE WAY YOUNG CHILDREN REFER TO THEIR PARENTS' FRIENDS, PLEASE TRUST ME ACTUALLY DON'T I AM TERRIBLE

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Willing your will and trusting your trust

My wife and I recently had the joyous opportunity to discuss in detail the logistics surrounding our—God forbid—untimely demise.

We figured it’s about time we arranged our wills. Not for us—we’d be dead—but for our daughter, lest our vast, vast fortune get lost in a sea of probate. Our situation is not dissimilar to the one detailed on Downton Abbey, where the Earl of Grantham must ensure he has an heir to inherit his estate. Likewise we felt it necessary to mark down legally who will inherit things like my New York Yankees memorabilia and our printer-scanner-fax machine.

In fact, a simple will would not suffice. No, we needed, apparently, a revocable testamentary trust. The cost of that was enough to make me wonder if one could inherit the trust itself.

Of course, all of these hypothetical scenarios were prefaced with the phrase “God forbid.” I feel like that should be implied, but everyone involved, including myself, still finds it necessary to verbalize. Say, for example, you’re in a terrible accident in which a local drug lord mistakes your vehicle for someone else’s and blows it to smithereens when you put the key in the ignition … GOD FORBID. If I ever owned a company that arranged such matters I think it would be cool to name the company God Forbid. Please nobody steal that idea because I might do it one day if I don’t die first. God forbid.

The decision-making process involving our personal details was interesting to say the least. For example, we both always thought it would be helpful to be organ donors since it really makes no sense not to. But then when you have to actually mark the box, I mean … let’s just say we’re not organ donors. I think I get caught up on two things: a) What if I come back to life? And, b) what if you need your organs in Heaven? I don’t want to get there and have God be like, “Welcome to Heaven! We’re having our big feast over th—oooohhhhh, I see you left your liver behind. Going to be tough to digest the tuna steak without it. Oh well, it’s just for eternity, right?”

The decision-making process involving our daughter was even more interesting. We chose my sister and my wife’s brother, who are married to each other, to be guardians should anything ever—God forbid—happen to us. But then the financial advisor threw us a curveball: what if something happens to one of them? We both agreed my sister would be fine, but my wife worried her brother wouldn’t be able to handle it. “He’ll have no idea how to dress her and he’ll probably have her caddying for him on the weekends,” she argued. But I thought it would play out like a Lifetime movie where opposites attract and they become inseparable. We had this discussion in the financial advisor’s office, by the way. She won. Sorry, Joe!

The difficult part is that no matter who you choose for certain things, you’re always presented with the scenario of: what if something happens to them? It’s like an endless hypothetical cycle, and at some point you realize you have listed Tim Tebow to be guardian of your child should anything happen to your wife’s fifth cousin in Italy.

Anyway, we got it done. Well, not yet. Almost. Should be fine as long as nothing happens to us in the next week or so, God forbid. If something should, God forbid, this column pretty much sums things up, so someone please show it to a lawyer. Thanks.

Note: This column appears in the 2/28 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/1 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Re: Custom Swimming Products

If there's one thing we're always looking to purchase here - the weekly community newspaper where I work - it's ink paper layout software cameras swimming products. It's like, "Where's that story about the political thing?" and dude be like, "Don't have it yet boss, can't find my swim goggles." Mind you I'm talking about CUSTOM swimming products, not your run-of-the-mill, mass-produced swimming products that you can find at virtually every newspaper. So this email finds me well.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Dear Man/Woman,

We are the producer of swimming products in HK.

The thing I like about Hong Kong-based swim product salespeople is that they are direct and to the point. I realize that's a stereotype, but hey - sometimes stereotypes are true.

It’s well known that an excellent swimmer needs not only great
efforts, but also a set of suitable swimming wear and goggles.

Swimmer: Arg! Despite my great efforts, I have not achieved the desired success attained by my swimming competitors!

Newspaper editor: Have you thought about not wearing a bathrobe when you swim? Also, where are your goggles? You are literally swimming around in circles out there and you have been disqualified from every race ...

Swimmer: Where could I possibly purchase such items? I don't live anywhere near Hong Kong's swim district.

Newspaper editor: I think I can help.

We can provide the latter without doubt.

I translate this sentence to read, "We have goggles but not suitable swimming wear." This is an important translation to remember when you read the very next sentence. SPOILER ALERT: The joke is that they don't know what "latter" means, or by "latter" are referencing all the way back to "great efforts," by which I should expect terrible efforts on their part to get me these swim products? Bonus translation: WE GOTS SWIM GOGGLES, NO DOUBT, KID.

We supply Swim caps,swim wear and swim goggles. For details please contact us freely.

Allow me to utilize this freedom to ask you: what if our newspaper is looking to buy silicone swim caps in bulk with a logo of our newspaper on them for when we go swimming competitively against other newspapers/countries?

For Silicone swim caps with print logo(The price include all fee,free shipping to your office):

Quantity
1 color Print 
2 color Print
3 color Print
4 color Print






300-399 units
$2.00

$2.2
$2.4
$2.6


400-599 units
$1.90
$2.1
$2.3
$2.5

600+ units
$1.8
$2.0
$2.2
$2.4

1000+ units
$1.6
$1.8
$2.0
$2.2

2000+ units
$1.5
$1.7
$1.9
$2.1


For more pricelist please reply and ask me, thanks

You know what? I'm good with this very weird chart, thanks. I am, however, interested to know what organization purchases 2,000 swim caps? That is a lot of swim caps. Must be a very big newspaper. Can you attach an example of a swim cap I can show my publisher so that we can arrive at a mutual decision re: swim caps?




Thanks. Is that Australia or Austria? If the latter, you have offended me greatly with this example since Austrian newspapers are pretty much our biggest swimming rival. Nevertheless, I cannot stress how useful and relevant this email has been for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And we’re the ones writing it off

One my favorite all-time Seinfeld moments is when Kramer tries to convince Jerry to blame his broken stereo on the Post Office, which leads to this exchange:

Kramer: It’s just a write-off for them.

Jerry: How is it a write-off?

Kramer: They just write it off.

Jerry: Write it off what?

Kramer: Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.

Jerry: You don’t even know what a write-off is.

Kramer: Do you?

Jerry: No, I don’t.

Kramer: But they do. And they’re the ones writing it off.

“Write it off what?” is something my wife and I say to each other every time we hear the phrase “write it off.” We say it a lot to each other during this glorious time of year, tax season.

I have no idea what I am doing tax-wise. I realize many people say that, but I truly have no clue. I have no general concept of what “doing taxes” even means, and why a system is in place that requires the taxpayer to personally go back and account for errors pertaining to what he or she is paying the government. Thanks a lot, Obama!

So many questions. First, what is a W2? Is it different from a 1098? I got peanut butter on my W2. Is my dog a dependent? Do I need to report the $1.93 of interest I made on my checking account? I donated my old hip-hop CDs to St. Vincent de Paul, approximate value: $1,000. I forgot to get a receipt. Now what?

Those valid questions aside, I am personally not very complicated from a tax perspective Writing pointless weekly columns about subjects like cleaning my colon and not being able to comprehend simple tax law is not as lucrative as one might imagine. My wife, on the other hand, has a job that requires her to file for many tax write-offs, which is difficult because: write it off what?

We have a basic understanding of what she can include tax-wise, but every year something happens to complicate matters, mostly when my wife comes home and says, “Okay so I just talked to (co-worker X), and she said that SHE writes off the apps she buys for her iPad because she uses them for work. Am I doing that? Can I do that? Find out like, now please.”

This means I have to call or send an email to our CPA. “Hi, quick question—can my wife write off 99-cent apps she buys for her iPad if she uses them for work?” What I really require is a simple yes or no answer, but I’ll get a response like, “Well it depends, according to Section V, Article 8.7 of the Tax Constitution …” but I have already stopped listening/reading by that point. Then when my wife asks for the answer I will either a) shrug my shoulders or b) say, “Yes!” and then take no subsequent action.

This is just one example, but it leads to the annual feeling that we’re not getting back as much as we possibly can. That is probably not the case—I’m pretty sure I get all the big stuff in there—but whenever our tax return is not $10 million, my wife will dejectedly say, “That’s it? Did you submit for the apps?”

I am currently in the middle of this annual song and dance. It took me a while, but I got every piece of paperwork filled out, and calculated all the necessary totals, and had it all in one big, organized folder for our CPA. It was at this point my wife handed me a pile of receipts and said, “Did I give these to you yet, for taxes?”

I threw them away. Please don’t tell her.

Note: This column appears in the 2/21 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/22 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Urgent Respond,

No. 1: "Respond" doesn't require a capital letter.
No. 2: No need for a comma there. The presence of a comma in this instance may not appear like much, but as someone who writes for living I can assure you the comma is insane. This email is from a crazy person.
No. 3: "Respond" should be "response."
No. 4: Even if the above items were remedied, the subject header "Urgent response" makes zero sense. Is this email an urgent response or does this email require an urgent response from me? If the former - I never sent you an email so you are a sneaky jerkface liar. If the latter - chill the freak out, jerkface. Don't be telling me that something is urgently required of me before I have even read the email. I have enough stress in my life, okay?

Hello
Am Mr Perry Johnson
.

No. 1: "Hello" could have used a comma. Your misuse of commas is rampant and disturbing.
No. 2: "Am Mr Perry Johnson" could have used an "I" in front of it, source: the English language.
No. 3: "Mr" could have used a period.
No. 4: It is not necessary to preface a period ending a sentence with a space. A lot of people get that confused, and by "a lot of people" I mean absolutely no one with any trace of normalcy in their bodies.
No. 5: "Perry Johnson" is totally a fake name. It sounds like a character from an old sitcom. Did you hear Burt Sims died? Yeah, he played Perry Johnson on "Matlock."
No. 6: You are NOT Perry Johnson. You are an evil robot with no background in grammar or punctuation.
No. 7: Regardless, I am listening. What can I do for you, Perry?

I would like to place an order of ( Fire Hose )from your company to Haiti,

Oh, that's it? Just a fire hose? No problem. Let me grab one from the back room here - we have plenty of fire hoses here where I work, obviously, which is a community weekly newspaper. There is actually a funny saying around here that goes, "We publish almost as many newspapers here as we do fire hoses!" which causes us to chuckle in a good-natured manner. THAT is how many fire hoses we have here. A lot. How many fire hoses do you need sent to Haiti? Five? Fifty? One hundred? I can accommodate any amount. Part of the reason I got into this business of newspapers in the first place was to be able to play some small role in putting out literal fires in the country of Haiti, which is always catching on fire.

Also - and I hate to keep harping on the grammar here - but it would behoove you to not put the most important noun in your request in parenthesis. It shouldn't read, "I urgently need to place an order of (whatever, doesn't really matter, you can think about this part later, at your convenience) to ship to Haiti, which is on fire RIGHT NOW."

kindly email me with the types you have and their prices and also ,your term of payment.Waiting for your prompt responses.

I am going to ignore the grammar here because this email has already received a failing grade, but allow me issue prompt responses now. The kinds of fire hoses we have here are the kind that squirt water out of them and they are red, maybe? I have to check. They cost $800 each plus shipping to Haiti is a million dollars. Our payment terms are that you pay for them with real money and not fake, robot money. Oh wait, hold up - we don't have any fire hoses here. My bad, Haiti. I'll be happy to comp you a subscription however. FYI our newspapers are flammable.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The inescapable stress of leisure

One of the stresses in my life is entertainment. A thing that is literally intended to be a break and distraction from the stress of everyday living is something that stresses me out.

Part of this is sports, although I am getting better about that. Sports is the worst. No matter who you root for, you will be disappointed in some regard by season’s end. Throw fantasy sports into the mix—which I do because I am apparently a masochist—and sports becomes one big ball of terribleness and unwanted outcomes. On the rare occasion that sports produce joy, it’s fun to say that all the heartache leading up to it was worth it, but that is totally not true. Also, everything I am saying is in regard to watching sports, like from a couch.

But, again, I am gaining more and more perspective and slowly removing the vice grip sports has had on me throughout my entire life. Yet I still have the issue of television to confront.

Indeed, television—more specifically the DVR—stresses me out. Recently we had many family members visiting the Valley for an extended period of time and as a result, because we felt obligated to “talk” to them and stuff, our DVR became full to the brim with our favorite shows.

My wife and I began having heated discussions about the DVR while getting washed up for bed at night. “But I have work to do tomorrow night!” “Well then WHEN are we going to watch the Parks & Rec from three weeks ago? WHERE are your priorities?” “MY priorities? PROJECT RUNWAYS ARE DELETING AS WE SPEAK!”

Indeed our DVR became so packed with shows that many were deleted and, even worse, we were forced to delete some ourselves to make room for episodes that had yet to record. Such difficult decisions, as anyone who has had to say goodbye to a loved previously recorded show can testify, didn’t come easily.

Wife: Are we “sure” we want to delete Fashion Police?

Me: I’m not sure of anything anymore. But we have to do it, right? We just have to. Downton Abbey is recording tonight and there's just …there's just not enough room.

Wife: Hits yellow triangle button, cries, drops remote.

Me: Comforts her.

We can often talk ourselves into cancellation with, “Oh, we can always watch it online or find it on On Demand,” but we know that’s not true. I mean, who ever finds anything worth watching on On Demand? On Demand should be called “Nobody watches you because you’re terrible and I hate you.” Boom, roasted.

Making matters more complicated is the fact that we canceled Netflix (again) and joined Amazon Prime, and have a bunch of shows queued up to watch. So now the decision becomes: do we ignore the DVR or not take full advantage of Amazon Prime? It should also be mentioned that when we’re streaming and the Internet connection goes funky and interrupts the show, my wife blames me because I invented the Internet. This adds greatly to my stress.

It’s all been so much that we’ve had some frank discussions about cancelling our cable entirely and becoming one of those streaming-only families that you read about in hipster magazines like Hipster Magazine. But I just can’t bring myself to do it, mainly because of—wait for it—sports.

Currently we are trying to plow our way through recorded shows, and it feels much more like a job than entertainment. With Valentine’s Day here, a night out is a risk I am unwilling to take, so tray tables and the 30 Rock finale may be my best romantic bet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Note: This column appears in the 2/14 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/15 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: ?????? ??????? ... Great INVENTION Exposed... Please Check... ... ?? ??????????...

I just ... I don't understand how the rampant and random use of punctuation is supposed to draw in email users. I feel like over the years the spam bots have gotten a little better -- a bit more refined even -- and so to see something like this ... I don't know. It just kind of sets everything back to 2000. This is like the white trash of spam email.

Вашият приятел, ... Great INVENTION Exposed... Please Check... ..., Ви препоръчва да разгледате Бележникът на Микеланджело в магазина ..::Megashop.BG::...

That is the introduction. There's a chance this is hilarious and/or important if you happen to speak Arabglish.

Dear Electricity User,

HOW DID THEY KNOW? This is my most favorite salutation that has ever happened.

From 1856-1943, he was an inventor, mechanical
engineer, and electrical engineer.


Oh cool I'm about to get a history lesson from this email that began "Вашият приятел, ... Great INVENTION Exposed... Please Check... ..., Ви препоръчва да разгледате Бележникът на Микеланджело в магазина ..::Megashop.BG::..." Little do they know I MAJORED in history, so I already know the answer. Just, like ... give me one more hint.

He was an
important contributor to the birth of modern
electricity, and is best known for his many
revolutionary developments in the field of
electromagnetism in the late 19th and early
20th centuries.


Pfft, that's easy. That lady and her husband who invented the Periodic Table, what are their names? ... Winston Churchill.

Nikola Tesla has built a lot of inventions in the
field of electricity.


Whatevs I was close. Also, let's read that sentence again.

Nikola Tesla has built a lot of inventions in the
field of electricity.


I sincerely hope this is the very first line of Nikola Tesla's official biography. Nikola Tesla has built a lot of inventions in the field of electricity. Where do we even begin to start? How about with just one of the lots of inventions he made by building them -- himself, when he was born.

And one of his inventions
was to make electricity be utilized by the consumers
at no cost. However, this invention was unsupported,
suppressed and was not distributed to the public
because of commercialism. Businessman cannot profit
from it thats why it is being untold.


I'm not sure thinking electricity should be free is an actual invention. And if it's just one businessman who cannot profit, why doesn't somebody just persuade him with torture?

Some of the original Tesla blueprints were leaked
from government files... ending up in the hands
of a crack team of "underground" scientists.


The Tesla blueprints are a sheet of construction paper that features a drawing in crayon of a man plugging a lightening bolt into a socket with the word "Free!" next to it and the exclamation point is also a lightening bolt. When the "crack team of 'underground' scientists" (!!!!!!!!!!) got their sciency hands on it, they knew that invention must be invented ... and fast!

Today, researchers, scientist, free-energy enthusiasts
and Green Earth advocates have joined forces to make
use of Tesla's legacy and to fulfill Teslas dream of
Free Electricity for everyone.


FREE-ENERGY ENTHUSIASTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I consider myself a Green Earth Advocate and never received notification that we were all joining forces. Where did this meeting take place? IHOP? I am going to be so pissed if it was at IHOP and nobody told me. Also, if you imagine that this paragraph refers to the rock band Tesla and not the inventor, it's easy to understand why I think it's the greatest paragraph that exists in the world today.

Now, The Most Powerful and most efficient way to
generate natural, clean electricity are now
epxposed.

Its your chance to grab it now.


It feels like I'm on the ground floor of being able to use free electricity! I am going to stop paying my utility bill immediately, which is what I imagine to be the obvious first step here. Is there anything else I can do?

Click HERE For more info:
http://elitework.info/NTS/index.html


Awesome, that link seems legit and I will totally click on it later when I find a public computer that can more easily absorb the risk of potential internal combustion. To whom do I owe my never-ending gratitude of never having to pay for electricity again?

Thank you and more power,
Ben Miller
Electrical Engr, Energy Specialist
and creator of Nikola Tesla Secret


Ah, Ben Miller. Such a simple name for a man so prolific in history, grammar, language, and free-energy enthusiasm. I like how the same guy who gave us the subject header "Subject: ?????? ??????? ... Great INVENTION Exposed... Please Check... ... ?? ??????????..." cannot be bothered to spell out "engineer" in his signature. 

Thank you and more power, everyone!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Husks and clay: my exciting adventure in organic cleansing

Life is crazy sometimes. Fifteen years ago I imagined that, right now, I’d be nestled safely into that glorious physical time of post-facial acne and pre-having to think about an organic colon cleanse. Welp, that obviously didn’t happen. Ha, ha! Sigh.

So yes, I did make the executive decision to attempt an all-natural colon cleanse because: why not? I mean, I am 34 years old, just about that time in life when one should start thinking about the cleanliness of his/her colon, give or take a couple decades. And, you know me by now—I’m not about to put something unnatural into my body. Sure, I could have gone the easy route and purchased something called “COLON BLAST,” which contains 99.9 percent of things I can’t pronounce and also “consult your doctor if COLON BLAST causes your hair to fall out and arms to bleed.” No. Surely the Internet had a more organic method, and indeed that was proven correct. It’s a wonder how people cleansed their colons safely before computers.

In fact, all I needed were two things. The first was called psyllium husks. I had never heard of psyllium husks before, and imagined obtaining such a thing would require me to travel to Siberia and locate an extinct woolly mammoth. Further research proved that no—I can simply purchase psyllium husks at my local vitamin/health store. Ditto for the second ingredient, bentonite clay. I hadn’t ingested clay since grade school, so this was going to be awesome and nostalgic.

Going to the health store—or any store for that matter—by myself is a luxury I am no longer afforded, so I brought my daughter. Because of this, I knew time would be of the essence, so I printed out the online cleansing instructions, highlighted the ingredients, and handed it to the first employee I saw, a woman, and said, “Please find these things for me.” (Also, I didn’t know how to pronounce psyllium husks. I am not good at pronouncing things.) The woman said, “Follow me.”

We found the section of the store that contained all my colon-cleansing needs. The helpful woman asked if this cleansing was for me. Years ago, especially while discussing such a topic with a member of the opposite sex, I would have been like, “Me? Pfft. No way. It’s for my wife.” But I am now long past the days of being embarrassed or ashamed about such things, so I became engaged in a detailed discussion about digestion and all of its pleasant wonders. My daughter even chimed in to say, “My friend Tamara has two cats.” She is a genius.

Did I want psyllium husk powder or just regular pysllium husks? So many decisions! I chose the latter, along with some delicious-looking clay and other digestive aids. Actually, I shouldn’t say “I chose”—the health store employee pretty much kept putting stuff in my arms as I yelled “PUT THAT DOWN” at my daughter. Seventy dollars later, I was well on my way to a cleaner colon.

The concoction wasn’t exactly pleasant, but it wasn’t terrible tasting, either. The major problem was the psyllium husks I chose did not dissolve very well in the water, so the texture was like orange juice with pulp. (“I got 99 problems and my psyllium husk dissolvability is one.”)

I write to you today with what I hope to be a cleaner colon. I’m not really sure because I can’t see it. My faith is in the Internet, which has never steered me wrong before, except for all those other times. Also, it turns out bentonite clay is great for acne! Just kidding, it is neutral. Does anyone know at what age acne stops? I am 34. Someone email me. Thank you.




Note: This column appears in the 2/7 issue of The Glendale Star and the 2/8 issue of the Peoria Times.