( °) Pointless Arguing. |-o-| [-o-] |-o-|


One thing people seem to be good at is arguing over texts.  We can argue different points about the same information.  How many interpretations are there for the constitution?  And that’s just one language.  Hit up the Torah, Bible, or Koran that’s been translated into different languages a few times and it’s absolute chaos.  People seem to focus on minutiae instead of the big picture.

image

I can easily imagine a post-apocalyptic dystopian future where the Star Wars films have become the basis for religion. People will subscribe to their own versions of the Jedi and Sith philosophies and have an overall high regard for the force. Some people will say it’s all fiction. Magicians will use levitation and spoon-bending illusions to “prove” that the force is real.

imageI can imagine sects breaking out of each group of trilogies, finding their own interpretations of the overall themes to be the only correct way to see things.

Some will say Anakin/Vader brought balance to the force. Some will say it was Luke. Some may focus on the new characters to come. Some cults will say you have to go to the dark side before you can be redeemed by the light and that is the only true path to Jedi salvation.

Some will argue that the original films unedited are the only true word. Some will argue that the standalone films and animated series are like the apocrypha, and can’t be true canon.

Monasteries will open and instead of vows of silence, they will talk like Yoda.

Books will be written trying to prove that the holiday special did in fact exist.

People will kill each other arguing over who shot first.

image

I think you now have a script for Idiocracy 2: Idiocracier.

I have another idea for a TV show… #YouDriveLikeAnAss!


OK, so TLC never got back to me about Missionaries Impossible (where Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses try to convert each other), but I will not let complete and total failure or lack of any interest in actually following up on these sorts of things keep me from writing a blog about my newest idea.

It’s called: You Drive Like an Ass!

(Hey, Shit My Dad Says made it to TV.)

All I’d need would be a car with cameras all over it.  I could drive it around for a week and have enough footage for an entire season of shows.  All I would have to do is drive the speed limit, and obey all traffic laws… then watch everyone around be driven completely insane by that type of apparently abnormal behavior.

I see things several times a day where people are breaking traffic laws that we all read in the book from driver’s ed, things that are unsafe, or just plain aggravating; Like flags on cars, or even worse… eyelashes-on-healights aggravating.  Don’t even get me started on bicycles.

Get some people to edit it, you have a super low-cost hit.  You wouldn’t even need a narrator.  Just get some clips of Samuel L. Jackson swearing & we can edit them all in.

If we were in the movie Idiocracy (and don’t think we aren’treally.), this would rival Ow My Balls!

Someone get on this, and send me the car and a royalty check.

#YouDriveLikeAnAss!

#YouDriveLikeAnAss!

Digital Media vs.Physical Media.


The other day I posted a Facebook status, and wanted to expand upon it here.  This is what I said:

I get that digital & cloud media are the next step. I get that ALMOST everything is available for streaming as part of a service. Anyone else weirded out by it? Some stuff… obscure or whatever just isn’t available for streaming. What happens when the companies close or the cloud’s redundant services fail? What happens if someone buys the rights to streaming movies, just to keep them from the public? What if censorship goes out of control and some committee decided certain movies are no longer available? Will they all be lost forever because no one will have physical copies? Don’t say it can’t happen… it has in the past with books.

It sparked a discussion.  Not too long after I posted that, Amazon posted this:

Announcing AutoRip from Amazon MP3: Buy an AutoRip CD and instantly get the MP3 version for FREE. Learn more: http://amzn.to/VMhFaJ

I of course shared it, and it sparked a tiny bit more discussion.

English: Photograph of Roku XDS player with re...

Photograph of Roku XDS player with remote. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of digital music & cloud storage.  I just purchased a 3TB drive, and in addition to other uses, hope to eventually rip all of my CD’s & put them on there so I can set it up to listen to all of my stuff from any browser anywhere.  Well, after I make a few decisions.

I like the idea of Digital movies & TV shows…  I love having Netflix‘s library available in an instant.  I love being able to watch a movie from Netflix or rent a digital movie from Amazon through the Blu-ray player.

I like the idea of Pandora or Google Play where there’s streaming music there in an instant.  Pandora just disappoints because of the variety of music I listen to… a lot of smaller bands that I really dig just have a minimal or even no presence there.  Google Play at least lets you upload your own mp3’s in addition to purchasing new ones.  Amazon holds your stuff in the cloud too.  I just wish all the music that I wanted was all in one place.

I have had an older external hard drive crash.  It’s not good.  I still need to get it fixed without breaking the bank.  Anything physical can be destroyed…  CD’s & Records can melt or scratch, and not too many people have 8-Trak or even cassette players any more.

My original question is as much about content control & ownership as much as anything else.  Say you purchase a ton of music that’s in the cloud… and that company shuts down.  How do you hold on to that music?  Were you just renting it?  What happens if the parent company gets into a disagreement with the management of your favorite band and their catalog is removed from your clous storage?

Cover of "Idiocracy"

“…a time when people cared about who’s ass it was, and why it was farting!”

What if you bought the movie Idiocracy and it becomes so true to life that it’s banned?  Don’t sit back comfortably and think it can’t happen.  Books are banned all the time by different groups.  No one comes & takes all of your books… yet.  What if the banned book could be deleted from your Kindle or Nook?  All In The Family would never fly on TV now, but what if it was no longer available because of its abrasive humor?

I just feel uneasy about it.

That being said, I absolutely hate cash money.  I hardly ever have it on me.  I like swiping my card for everything.  If I could use it in parking meters and pop machines, I would.  There’s a swing back towards cash though, as credit card company fees are crushing small businesses, especially if you’re making a purchase with a low dollar amount.  Is it odd that I have no problem with my money being intangible,  but when I use to to purchase an album or a movie… I need that to be tangible?

I’d like to get a good discussion going in the comments.

HOW TO WRITE GOOD


As a blogger, I guess I should heed some of these rules?  I found this where Ramy dropped it.

How to Write Good

How to Write Good

This reminds me of one of the best movies ever.

A food order for the 22th of December, eh?


Well.  Mr. Simson & Ms. Baker have some competition in the grifter circuit.  Seems all these scam artists really like chicken Caesar products.  I’d still like to know how they got my email & why it’s associated with ordering food.  Mr. Smith would like to throw his hat into the ring:

From: paul jason
Date: Fri, Dec 9, 2011
Subject: mr paul smith food order
To:

Hello how are you doing today my name is paul smith My Mom birthday is coming up on the 22th of december and i will like to place an order for 150 grilled chicken salad in individual pack for the 150 guest, it will be pick up by 3pm on the given date and i will like to inform you that am ready to make the full payment with my credit card today so can i know the total cost for the order plus tax…..get back to me with this following information below.

Restaurant address:
Personal cell number:
Total cost for my order plus tax:
Type of the credit card you accept

Regards
paul

Ah, the 22th of December is indeed a fine day.

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011
Subject: Re: mr paul smith food order
To: paul jason

Hello Paul,

What a wonderful son you are!  It’s so nice of you to plan a party for your mom on the 22th.  Which of our locations would you want to pickup from?  Generally, I like to personally deliver to ensure the quality of the food upon delivery.  In fact, I can give 1 free grilled chicken salad in individual pack if I can deliver & hang out at the party.  I can ensure quick delivery too, my van made the Kessel run in under 5 parsecs.

Does the party have a theme?  Have you thought about a Star Wars theme?  I can make excellent TIE-fighter shaped chicken caesar wraps, that I display in front of a giant cheese-ball Death Star.  It really is quite breathtaking.  I have some friends in the 501st Legion that can come out too.  They work for a charitable donation made in their name, we’ll just have to feed them.

The price would be $10 per person, so if you have 150 people, and 5 from the 501st Legion, we’re looking at $1550 total, and $1658.50 with tax.

Have you thought about drinks?  If you’re going with the Star Wars theme, you might want to consider Imperial Stout Trooper or Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier.  I can recommend a good supplier if you don’t have one.

I really hope your mom is a Star Wars fan.  Does she need a date to the party?  These are the grilled chicken caesar TIE-fighter wraps you are looking for.

Regards,
-Waldo Lunar
Owner, Operator, Emperor
OMGWTFBBQ, Inc.

I thought it was time for a departure from the Hawaiian Toga Party theme.  In hindsight, now I really do want a Death Star cheese ball.  Can someone get on that?

Death Star Cheese Ball

No one took the time to make TIE-Fighter crackers?

From: paul Smith <paulsmith5485@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011
Subject: Re: mr paul smith food order
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Thanks for your email,I am very happy to hear from you with the cost of the order plus tax of my order which is $1658.50 for my order and its okay by me and i want the chicken salad so I will prefer them packed in to-go boxes. Mean while i would like you to add an additional $1275 plus the total price of the order so that you can have all that charged on my credit card now. The funds will be wire to the private carrier who will be coming for the pick up of the food in your place in cash via western union money transfer. i would like you to add it all together plus extra $100 Western union charges for wiring the $1275 to the private carrier and let me have the grand total price inclusive of the tax fee and the 3% credit card company charge fee for the transaction all together,so that I can give you my credit card to charge for the total. I will also like to know what type of credit card you accept for payment. i just want to let you know that i am just back from the hospital i was down with a diagnosis of cancer of the lungs as such i had to spend some time in the intensive care. so i cannot go to western union money transfer for now and pay the driver that is why i want you to help me pay them and you will charge my credit card for the total estimation for the food and the Carrier charges,Hope to hear back from you soon with the grand total so i can forward my credit card information and the carrier’s information to wire the cash via western union transfer to them asap.

Final Break Down:
Foods Order :$1658.50
Carrier’s fee: $1275
Western union fee: $100
3% CC company fee: ?

Unfazed, he was all about putting together a price, but not sure to what end… he wanted to give me a total?  Where do I get scammed here?  Does the “oh I’m paying the courier and he’ll pay you” come next?  I really don’t want to take any credit card information, in case the action in itself is illegal.

Gross Death Star Cheese Ball

This one does not look appetizing at all.

I wrote back offering to be more helpful…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011
Subject: Fwd: mr paul smith food order
To: paulsmith5485@yahoo.com

Hello Again Mr. Smith,

May I call you Paul?  I hope your mother is well, have you talked with her about the Star Wars theme?  I hope that your lung cancer treatment has gone well, Paul!  I’m sorry to hear that you were down with the sickness.  Ooh ah ah ah.  (Sorry, I have a form of Tourette’s that only comes out when I type.  It prevents me from using the Backspace or Delete key too.)  Perhaps you can wear a suit like Darth Vader to improve your breathing?  His lungs weren’t cancerous, but burned quite badly.  I believe all of life’s problems can be solved using Star Wars as a guide.

Why don’t you let me make this easy for you, and I’ll deliver to your location, free of charge!  That way, you don’t need to pay a courier, and I can take your card info. upon delivery, it will save you $1300… or give you a higher beer budget!  A true Jedi would carry out the mission himself.  I’ll even knock a dollar of of each head & provide the Death Star cheese ball free of charge.  Do you know if anyone attending has food allergies?  The cheese ball comes two ways – boy (with nuts) or girl (no nuts).

Does your mom like to drink?  I’m a fan of blue milk & several alcoholic beverages.  Sometimes at night when I’m all snuggled up in my Tauntaun sleeping bag, my R2-D2 trash can is my only friend.  Sometimes I sleep with leftover chicken caesar salad in the bag, because Tauntauns apparently smell bad on the inside.  I imagine rotting chicken, mayo, & raw eggs would simulate that smell pretty well.  I’m drinking blue milk now, mixed with some bourbon.  Actually, the blue milk is eggnog with food coloring.  Aldi doesn’t carry blue milk, and they look at me like I’m crazy every time I request it, so I have to make my own.

Can I come to your party?  I really need this.  In fact, I’ve never made a chicken caesar salad in my life.  But, I found a few good recipes on COOKS.com and I’m willing to try.  OMGWTFBBQ is mainly barbecue as the name suggests.  I cook my chicken breasts in a modified Darth Vader toaster so they come out looking awesome.  Our ribs are delicious, they’re Mustafarian style, blackened with smoky seasoning.

Can I ask where you found my email address?  This all has me very excited.  I think I’m really drunk, so I should end this email before I become incoherent.  I really need your business.  Can you send some photos of your mom?  Does she need a date to the party?

May the force be with you, from OMGWTFBBQ to you, happy birthday mom!

-Waldo Lunar
Owner, Operator, Emperor
OMGWTFBBQ, Inc.

No more correspondence.  Apparently Mr. Smith has no patience, or just is the same person as “John” & “Lori” from the last 2 times and was exasperated at the onset.

It's a (mouse)trap!

I Googled "Death Star Cheese Ball" & this came up. |-o-|

Why do these people prey upon us here in the United States?  From the email, I hope English is their second (or 3th) language.  Are we seen as easy targets?  Are we more Gullible?  There’s more of us?  Is there general hatred towards our country?  Do any of these emails ever work?

So, who’s going to start a catering business with me called OMGWTFBBQ?

OMG.WTF?BBQ!

OMG.WTF?BBQ!

More scams abound: Tried scamming me twice this week. (page 2)

Seriously, about the cheese ball…  Someone tell my wife.  My birthday’s coming up.  Let’s go Death Star cheese ball instead of a cake.  I want some TIE-fighter shaped crackers too.  I don’t think she reads thins unless I call her attention to it directly.  Something about “I listen to your insanity all the time in person, you expect me to read it too?” is her (valid) argument on her blog reading stance.

The worst scammers ever try again…


You read the Chicken Caesar Wrap Scam post, right? This familiar assault came at my inbox again.  I wonder if Mr. Simson and Ms. Baker know each other, went to the same poorly taught “how to be an internet scammer” class, or are indeed the same person.  If they’re not the same person, at the very least they bought the same email list or scan bot program.

From: ray baker [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: On Mon, Dec 5, 2011
Subject: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: [blank?]

Hello

My name is Lori Sandra Baker and I would like to order individual grilled chicken Caesar salad in your restaurant,for 150 people on 13th of December and pick up time is 3 pm and it’s for my Dad’s Birthday Party and it will be picked up by Carrier Agent and I am ready to pay the full payment with my credit card so can you make the order for me on that date while you get me the grand total of the foods inclusive of the tax fee,get back to me with the total cost,you can also get back to me.

Regard

I wrote back with a similar response to last time (some parts blatantly cut & pasted – is it plagiarizing if you steal from yourself?):

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: lorisandra72@yahoo.com

Hello Ray & Lori,

Sounds like a great time! Would you like the salads in plain old salad form, or in Chicken Cæsar Salad wrap form? The wraps have been quite a hot item lately. May I ask where you found our humble establishment, and how you heard of our incredible Chicken Cæsar Salad? If you have a courier agent, I must assume you are quite fancy. Quite fancy indeed. I’m glad to have been noticed.

Would you like a full menu? We have quite a few price levels and advertising options to help keep the cost low. I also offer party planning, and discounts if I’m invited. (I don’t get out much, I’m always making Cæsar dressing and grilling chicken!) I could deliver, and we could do cash on delivery if that’s OK.

As far as pricing… Would you like to stamp your father’s name along with a happy birthday message on the outside of the wrap(s)? Advertising with printing directly on the wraps is standard for us, so it’s no big deal & not much of an extra charge for us to add a custom message. We feel that we must seize every opportunity to advertise.You heard of us somehow, right?

Currently we’re working on exciting “edible” advertisements that will pass through your system and remind you of our catering services upon their exit. They always come out (well, usually always), but they’re not always readable. We need to work on a smooth non-stick or oily surface that always floats. We hope to be the world leader in defecation-marketing!

I have a party theme idea for you too… Toga Luau. It’s going to be a thing, I tell you. It will be huge. Your dad can say “I had that party before it was cool.” I mean, brilliantly flowered togas? Let it simmer.

About the price… I like the show Pawn Stars. You ever watch? How about you give me a number that’s ridiculously low, and I’ll come back with an equally ridiculous high number, and we’ll negotiate.

Looking forward to your business!
-Waldo Lunar

From here on out there’s no mention of Ray, the name from the original email.  I hope Ray is OK, and not tied up in his basement.  At any rate, they continue:

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

Hello

Thanks for the email Before you go Ahead i will like to Know if you accept Credit Card for Payment

Hope to hear from you asap

Regard

Regard, indeed.

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Hello Lori,

I can accept a credit card, I guess. I’m not sure if I like accepting credit card info. via email. Perhaps I should set up a PayPal account? From which of our locations would you like to pickup? I hear there are some shady people out there looking to grab cc info from emails.

Have you thought about the wraps, the advertising, the Toga Luau, and my invitation yet?

Also, come at me with a price!

OMGWTFBBQ,
-Waldo

Seriously, if I ever own a BBQ joint, that’s what I’m gonna call it. OMGWTFBBQ! Maybe OMG.WTF?BBQ! or something close. I bet there’s already one out there.

OMGWTFBBQ

OMGWTFBBQ

Unfazed, it goes on…

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

i have Credit Card Not paypal ok

Getting testy?

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Hello Lori,

I believe that you can use credit cards via PayPal. OMGWTFBBQ, Inc. is concerned about your privacy & personal information. Credit card will be fine.

What price would you like for the order? What about advertising, & the toga luau?

Cialoha (get it Ciao + Aloha…?),
-Waldo

Heh. At least I find myself amusing.

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

not interested

D’oh! I try to redeem myself, while trying to slightly up the ridiculousness. To what end, I have no idea.

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Hello Lori,

May I ask why you’re all of a sudden not interested? You seemed quite eager to give me your credit card information. I’m not sure why. Shouldn’t we discuss details of the order before we discuss payment?

You’ll be sorry for passing up my Hawaiian toga party. It’s going to be all the rage next year. My on-wrap & defecation advertising promised DEEP discounts, and you still can’t see that we’re a perfect match?

I’m sorry for lashing out. Can I still come to the party?

“Welcome to Costco, I love you,”
-Waldo

Who loves Idiocracy? Everyone does (or should). Maybe “Lori” is a fan.  Maybe she thinks I’m dumb enough to fall for this crazy scam.

From: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]

Okay

OK?  OK!

From: Waldo Lunar [world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com]
Date: Tue, Dec 6, 2011
Subject: Re: Order for my Dad Birthday….
To: Lori Sandra [lorisandra72@yahoo.com]

Dear Lori,

OK I can come to the party? Sweet! Where is it? I already know the time and date.

Want me to bring a giant Chicken Cæsar Salad, or some individual wraps? Would you like any sides?

Toga! Toga! Toga!
-Waldo

…and no further reply. Heh. Apparently the projected profit has now outweighed the effort.

I did, however, recently gain some insight on the objective.  A member at The BBQ Brethren Forum, colonel00, posted a link to my Chicken Cæsar Wrap scam blog post, and apparently Mr. Simson & Ms. Baker get around… under a few different aliases.  Poster chachahut provided some insight on the type of scam:

This is a form of a Courier Grift.

The grifter – in this case the emailer or in some cases a person calling via TTD – wants a large order of food. Rather than having the joint deliver – they will be sending a courier. As the courier requires cash payment, they will ask you to charge the credit card an additional amount – usually a few hundred to $1000 – and wire the money to the courier service. Why do you have to wire it? Well, the grifter is in the hospital & cannot take it or wire it to them & the courier does not accept credit cards (yeah right).

Of course – there is no courier service. It’s nothing more than a receiving address for any one foolish enough to send the wire. Additionally – the credit card used it certainly stolen & will ultimately get rejected or the charges will be reversed.

The whole thread can be seen here: Tried scamming me twice this week.

Interesting.  Convoluted, but interesting.  Google didn’t turn up much for “Courier Grift”, but I did find these interesting/enlightening sites after altering my search terms slightly:

Crazy.  Hard to believe that anyone can be lulled into this one.  I mean there really are a lot of steps, and it’s got to be hard to gain confidence via email.  It must work if there’s still people out there trying it.

I wonder what the BBQ aficionado guys would think of my local BBQ joint reviews or chipped ham BBQ?