Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spam of the Day

"We do not throw the words just to fill your e-mail box."

I think this one is true, actually. They usually want you to click on something, buy watches, or try Viagra.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spam of the Day

"Arrogant dwarf"

Reading: The Secret Life of Words, Hitchings

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Spam of the Day

"A special offer for young ladies! This is what you need!
This is simple junk letter about your health."

Oh, please, tell me more! I appreciate direct, no-nonsense advertising!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ah, Microfilm

The problem with using microfilm to find an obituary from the distant past is twofold. First, the paper wasn't organized the same way in, say, 1922 (the year I was experiencing today) as it is now. The obituaries might be on page 2, or 6, or tucked in with the local news, on any given day. They might be on two pages. You might not be able to find them at all--does that mean that you are dumb? Perhaps. But, more likely, it means that your modern brain and tired eyes can't make out the location of the DEATHS on the page. Also, as happened to me today, there is sometimes a big chunk of the paper missing, usually right on the date that you are looking for. But this is really minor business compared to the other problem, which is the distraction of the headlines and advertisements from 1922. For example, "War Dog, Bemedaled Hero, Passes Beyond" just begs to be read for the details. Advertisements for Prohibition related votes loom large.

DO YOU COUGH? ARE YOU WEAK? Try Dr. Pierce's Golden Medical Discovery!

It was very difficult for me to do my work when what I really wanted to do was discover why "Four Husbands Were Poisoned" and who "Advises Women to Smoke Pipes." What I took out of today's session, fortunately or unfortunately, was not the obituary I was looking for, but an urge to refer to the Midwest (some time in the future, in a casual conversation or newsy letter) as the Middle West. And to get me one of those Bemedaled Dogs. That seems like a good breed to have.

Spam of the Day

Bad weather is not a reason for depression! Cheer up! The mailbox of your boss is full of it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spam of the Day

Are you unlucky in finding a perfect wife?
Maybe you should try your happiness here and choose a fantastic Russian lady that will love you with all her heart and soul.
Better hurry you have lots of portfolios to check.

Seriously, people?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spam of the Day

"Your short sword needs to be lengthened a bit to win you more battles!"

I sense some kind of sad conflation between weapons of war and male anatomy. I may have to sample farther, but let's call it a hypothesis for now...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Spam of the Day

"Viagra will help you in any situation."

Severed limb? Viagra.
Complicated marketing campaign? Viagra.
Cats fighting with neighbor cats? Viagra.
Car stalled on the side of the road in Death Valley with no one in sight in the middle of the day? Viagra.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Spam of the Day

My order arrived yesterday via registered mail in good order THE WATCH IS BEAUTIFUL AND EVEN BETTER THAN I EXPECTED.

"Don't restrain your desires, increase your love gun!"

"Love gun" makes me chuckle. As for the first, it is my all-time favorite spam! I don't know why. Maybe it's something about how 1) people don't even wear watches anymore, since the advent of the cell phone, much less order fancy replica watches of the sort that we get so much spam about; and 2) it's even better than expected! It's all in caps! Seriously, sometimes I go around muttering this to myself, so . . . good job, spammers!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spam of the Day

Hey We have hijacked your baby but you must pay once to us $50 000.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Delayed Olympic Rant

I love the Olympics. Anyone who knows me is probably aware of this fact. I spent a great many days during the past two weeks watching the Olympics (sometimes several sports at a time, due to my handy computer), checking out Olympic news on the internet, and getting a little teary over athletic accomplishments. Here is my problem--it's the new (artistic) gymnastics scoring system. Why would you create a scoring system that is:

A. Unintelligible to even the educated gymnastics viewer (what was wrong with the perfect 10, people?) to the point that after a routine, you are saying "15.575--is that a good score? I don't know? What did the other girl get?"

B. Rewards crappy difficult performances over perfectly executed "easier" performances. Given that even the most experienced and supposedly favored athletes bobbled on simple skills, rewarding a gymnast who lands ON HER KNEES after a difficult vault with a medal seems ludicrous. The gymnastics federation, or IOC, or whoever is in charge of international scoring needs to figure out a better balance between difficulty and artistic talent, before some girl ends up breaking her neck because she tried to throw in a more difficult skill to raise her start value to an astronomic levels. Although, with the current system, she would probably get a gold for her efforts...I just wouldn't want to be accepting my medal from a stretcher.

Spam of the Day

Your tiny dimension is a pure visitation for your wife!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Off of Paul Revere Road in Feeding Hills, MA, you can turn on to Independence Road. That makes sense, right? Even more sensible are the two culs-de-sac off of Independence Road: One if By Lane, and Two if By Street. Check Google Maps if you don't believe me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


It's been a long time since I've read a book--especially a novel--where I had to look up words every ten or fifteen pages. The book is The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson, which my mother told me to read about 10 years ago (thanks mom! I wish you were here to discuss it with me). It's kind of slow going, thanks to words like "gallimaufry," and if I'm reading and not near a dictionary or my computer, I have to compile a list of words to look up later. It's like I'm back in 3rd grade or something, and leaving the dinner table to look up words I don't understand. But I'm enjoying it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


So we were actually in a situation the other day when we were at a Sun game and there were so many jump balls that they actually had to play the traditional jump ball songs more than once, and possibly in one case three times. For the record, these traditional songs are (in order of appearance):

"Jump Around" - House of Pain
"Jump" - Van Halen
"Jump" - Kriss Kross

As a regular consumer, I think they could stand to mix it up a little more, for those situations where -- since the WNBA does not have an alternate possession rule -- we are bored out of our minds because the referees can't call fouls when they should. Here are some songs I would recommend that the Sun, and possibly the league, consider adding to the rotation:

1. "The Joint is Really Jumping Down at Carnegie Hall" - Judy Garland - Sure, this is probably one of Judy's least well known songs, and it includes the lyrics:

The philharmonic was so dignified
But now they're groovy and starting to ride,
Handel and Haydn are facing the wall
'cause The Joint Is Really Jumpin' down in Carnegie Hall.

I think the New York Liberty, in particular, could benefit, seeing as Carnegie Hall is just up the street. Who wouldn't be entertained by the thought of executing some classical composers? I wonder what they would request for their last meals? It's a nice change-of-pace song for that fourth jump ball.

2. "Jump" - The Pointer Sisters - Why not go retro? In the case of this group, you could probably actually book them to come sing the song live when that crucial fifth jump ball happens. Just for variety.

3. "Jumper" - Third Eye Blind - Sure, it's a little depressing, but sometimes you just want to put the past away. Especially when you've reached the point of the sixth jump ball.

Friday, June 20, 2008


We are both going to have jobs in September! Good ones, too! I could not be happier.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A New Era of Blogging?

I have mentioned before that I hate the words "blog" and "blogger" and, yes, "blogging," so that's not what I will be doing here. Instead, I will be offering rare glimpses into a brilliant and archaic mind: my own. I call it . . . typing my thoughts.

So, my father just called to say that he was in Decorah, IA. Why was he there and not somewhat farther down the road from Utah to Maine? Well, it turns out that he left twice. Yes, in the grand tradition of our family, he left for the first time on Monday night with a totally unsuitable car (a Ford Taurus) pulling a trailer full of crap. Naturally, it broke down somewhere after Park City and they had to be towed back to Salt Lake. This is very much shades of my childhood, and I have to wonder: Dad, why put so much faith in the damn Ford Tauri? Haven't you learned your lesson yet? Don't you remember the camping incident? What about the time our old station wagon would only drive backward? I seem to remember having the transmission replaced at least twice. What about the time the current Taurus broke down all the way across the country? Remember how it was only giving you heat in the summer and cold air in the winter?

My final words: Buy. Japanese.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sports and the National Anthem

I am a firm believer of the idea that sports and the national anthem should have nothing to do with each other outside of an Olympic medal ceremony. According to this article, the national anthem wasn't even a common component of sporting events until the run up to World War II required more patriotic fervor from the general populace. When I was in junior high, I began substituting "Zeus" or other monosyllabic names into the Pledge of Allegiance, because it made me very uncomfortable to be forced to give my support to a god that, frankly, I didn't believe in. It has also been my custom for several years now to remain seated when the national anthem is played at sporting events. I simply do not believe that sports and politics--like church and state--should be mixed, and I refuse to endorse that mixture with my actions. What does my national anthem have to do with the shameless commercialism of a typical professional basketball game? Apparently, everything.

Today when we sat quietly during the national anthem at the Connecticut Sun game, we were asked if there was anything wrong with our legs, called disrespectful, and questioned vehemently as to the validity of our actions. We are also apparently young, stupid, and required by our American citizenship to honor the flag whenever it is presented. We had a reasonable discussion with an adjacent seatmate about our reasons for sitting--which also include not blindly endorsing a country that has, is, and will be engaged in torturing and killing people for profit--but the group of women in front of us became progressively more insulting, refusing to leave us alone and repeatedly explaining that our freedom as Americans meant that we had to stand up for the national anthem, that their fathers and other relatives had served so we could be so selfish, etc.

This was very disturbing for a variety of reasons, but because I'm me, what is most upsetting is that it ruined my basketball game, and I'm afraid it's going to ruin the rest of the season. As a season ticket holder, I'm afraid that I'm going to be spending the rest of the season in the same space as hateful, angry people who will not agree to disagree. It is hard to believe that people who are apparently so passionate about American nationalism are unable to accept that one of the founding principles of this country is (in my understanding, my grasp of history is a little fuzzy) the ability to dissent peacefully. I understand that people have reasons for standing during the national anthem, for joining the military, and for putting flag bumper stickers on their cars. Fine. They can do all those things. But--don't tell me what to do. I'm just here to cheer for my women's basketball team.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Obituary Names

Today's name of note:

Helen F. Troy


Emily M. (Sakiewicz) Drzewianowski

When I see names like these I always think of women who are like "when I get married, I can get rid of this really long name that no one can spell! Or not."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Today's Notable Obituary Names

Wladyslawa T. Oniszczuk
Rev. Thomas Patrick Quinn
Eleanor (Barnes) Bjorlykke

I also had two 101 year olds in this 2 month crop of papers. Not bad for one small town.