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Friday, April 30, 2004


Tricky...

I couldn't figure it out.

I got the Citibank spam (the one that asks you to enter your ATM card number and PIN so that Citibank can verify your email address), but the listed URL appeared to be a Citibank URL:

Dear Citibank Member,


This email was sent by the Citibank server to verify your E-mail
address. You must complete this process by clicking on the link
below and entering in the small window your Citibank ATM/Debit
Card number and PIN that you use on ATM.


This is done for your protection - because some of our members
no longer have access to their email addresses and we must
verify it.


To verify your E-mail address and access your bank account,
click on the link below:

https://web.da-us.citibank.com/signin/citifi/scripts/email_verify.jsp


---------------------------------------

Thank you for using Citibank

---------------------------------------


Then I viewed the source of the email message, and found this interesting little item in the source code (tag identifiers have been changed for display purposes):

To verify your E-mail address and access your bank account,{BR}
click on the link below:{/P}
{A href="http://www.infouserupdate.us/scripts/email_verify.htm"}
https://web.da-us.citibank.com/signin/citifi/scripts/email_verify.jsp{/A}{/A}


Things are not always as they seem...

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Thursday, April 29, 2004


Inconsistent Badgers in a Box
On April 20, I examined the large number of random words in a spam that I received. Now it's time to examine seven spam messages that I received today.

Here's the first:

-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:13 PM
To: xxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Your Pharmacy order # 8452


Buy top painkillers without prescription
Today's special: Free overnight Fedex delivery

Vicodin.....................$2.51/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.12/dose
Norco.......................$2.99/dose

Stock is limited and selling fast, so hurry
Buy them here


OK, here's the second:

-----Original Message-----
From: xxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 5:13 PM
To: xxxxxxx
Subject: Buy V.icodin, 1 day sale


Buy top painkillers without prescription
Today's special: Free overnight Fedex delivery

Vicodin.....................$2.57/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.11/dose
Norco.......................$2.95/dose

Stock is limited and selling fast, so hurry
Buy them here


The second message was nearly identical to the first, except that the "From:" line (which I am suppressing) had changed, the title was different, and the prices of the pills had changed slightly.

Here are price excerpts from the other five messages:

Vicodin.....................$2.56/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.16/dose
Norco.......................$2.90/dose

Vicodin.....................$2.50/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.14/dose
Norco.......................$2.99/dose

Vicodin.....................$2.55/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.13/dose
Norco.......................$2.97/dose

Vicodin.....................$2.54/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.14/dose
Norco.......................$2.90/dose

Vicodin.....................$2.51/dose
Hydrocodone............$2.19/dose
Norco.......................$2.91/dose


Seven nearly-identical messages, all with seven different prices. Wazzup with that?

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Two New Badger/Ludo Cremers-Related Poems

Kool Badgers
http://ontarioemperor.tripod.com/poetry.html#kool
April 27, 2004

Mushrooms left to rot
Ludo Cremers sent some smokes
Snake dance to hip hop

The Late Wesley Willis Sings About Badgers
http://ontarioemperor.tripod.com/poetry.html#wesley1
April 27, 2004

You are a bunch of badgers
You like to dance around a lot
You all try to eat the mushrooms
The mushrooms make me hear the voices in my head

Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers

You have you watch out for the snake
You play the song in the mix over and over again
You play the song in the mix over and over again
You are big fat rock stars

Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers

You play the song in the mix over and over again
You play the song in the mix over and over again
You play the song in the mix over and over again
You play the song in the mix over and over again

Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers
Lots of badgers

Kool Cigarettes - marketed to black kids

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Monday, April 26, 2004


How About A Racing Game?
See http://www.weebl.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/badger.html.

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Two Great Flavors That Taste Great Together
What do you get when you combine Wesley Willis (see 16 November 2003 entries to this blog) with Weebl of "Badger Badger Badger" fame (see 25 April 2004 entry to this blog)?

You get this animation, set to Wesley Willis' song "Merry Christmas." (Lyrics here. The ad is for Allstate.)

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Sunday, April 25, 2004


Badger Badger Badger
For the lover of the non sequitur, PLEASE visit http://www.badgerbadgerbadger.com/ with your computer sound on.

Thanks to PsionicMagWarrior for posting this at Head In The Clouds.

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Friday, April 23, 2004


The Orb, 23 Years Later
Back in the fall of 1981 several of us college students shared a sparsely furnished off-campus house. The primary decoration in the living was The Orb. I can't remember where or how we obtained it, and I don't know what happened to it. The Orb was a big, round, orange lamp. But more importantly, this was The Orb.

Flash forward to the contributions of Mark Weiser (R.I.P.) and his early concepts about ubiquitous computing:

Ubiquitous computing names the third wave in computing, just now beginning. First were mainframes, each shared by lots of people. Now we are in the personal computing era, person and machine staring uneasily at each other across the desktop. Next comes ubiquitous computing, or the age of calm technology, when technology recedes into the background of our lives. Alan Kay of Apple calls this "Third Paradigm" computing.

Eventually, Ambient Devices emerges with a desire to offer commercial devices that use calm technology. One of their first devices? The Orb. Actually, it's the Ambient Orb - and it's not your father's monocolor orange device:

Frosted glass orb glows a color to indicate your information.

The Ambient Orb slowly transitions between thousands of colors to show changes in the weather, the health of your stock portfolio, or if your boss or kid is on instant messenger.

Imagine if you had to go to your computer and type in your zip code whenever you wanted to check what time it was. Your important information should be as accessible as looking at a clock, now the Ambient Orb can make a variety of information just a glance away.

The Orb will arrive automatically set to track the Dow Jones Industrial Average, glowing more green or red to indicate market movement up or down, or yellow when the market is calm. It can be customized to a set of free channels, such as market indices or weather in major cities. Optionally, you can upgrade to access more premium channels, such as your customized portfolio.


Well, our off-campus house also had a "table" made up of half a ping pong court resting on some bricks. What can Xerox PARC do with that?

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i15.info
Liz Bartlett states that she has a hobby of viewing model homes, and that she makes her living via web design. She has been able to combine both in her i15.info "web site dedicated to providing a comprehensive and objective information resource for people searching for new homes in the I15 corridor. Unlike other sites, which are maintained by specific builders, or require builder subscriptions to list developments, I15.info aims to list all developments in the area." Information is communicated via a blog entitled "Local Building News."

There's one subtle twist in the blog that deserves mention. Although the Ontario Empoblog doesn't currently support this feature, many blogs offer two options at the bottom of each entry: "Comments" and "Trackback." At i15.info, the latter is entitled "TractBack" (with a t). :)

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004


The Long-Awaited Client Album Review
Now that I've spent a few days listening to the album in the car, at home, and at work, I'm ready to give my impressions.

  • Client FAIR. I'm not a fan of spoken word non-melodic songs (Kraftwerk's "Numbers" is the only one of this ilk that I like).

  • Rock and Roll Machine EXCELLENT. The second of three singles. Even the people who hate the album reserve praise for this song. What can you say about a catchy song about rock with no guitars in the song itself? The video is good also.

  • Price of Love GOOD. The first of three singles from the album, and the weakest of the three (but still good).

  • Happy GOOD. The jarring music of the song matches the lyrics (which, if you've heard them, are NOT happy). But why the DougOse did they have to include that one word in the song?

  • Diary of an 18 Year Old Boy GOOD (music EXCELLENT). Sorry, but I don't particularly care for lyrics about the thoughts of an 18 year old boy, although you can tell that a woman wrote them (what 18 year old boy would use the word "tremble"?). Lose the words, and the music's excellent.

  • Civilian FAIR. Did Andrew Fletcher arrange to have Martin Gore teach Client A how to write throw-away instrumentals?

  • Here and Now VERY GOOD. The third of the three singles. Catchy.

  • Sugar Candy Kisses GOOD. When I heard this song, I immediately started wondering whatever happened to B*Witched. Unless I'm missing some huge irony, these jaded ladies have issued a bubblegum pop song, complete with fuzz guitar and everything.

  • Pills VERY GOOD. Jarring (in line with its subject matter), the song really gets into a groove toward the end. At first I disliked it, then I found myself playing it over and over on the drive in to work this morning.

  • Leipzig FAIR. Yawn.

  • Love All Night EXCELLENT. This should have been a single. More dance-oriented than "Rock and Roll Machine," the only thing that mars this is Felix Todd's vocal production. I hate that effect, but it's much worse on Cher's "Believe" when you take Cher's voice (and she DOES have a voice) and cover it up in effects).

  • reprise to Civilian GOOD. This concentrates on the last part of "Civilian," and has the advantage of brevity.


  • Hear 30 second song samples here (Tower) or here (Best Buy). Amazon only offers samples of a few songs. Client's website is here. Toast Hawaii is here.

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    Ludo Evangelism
    I've highlighted some of Ludo Cremers' most notable phrases here. (Head in the smoke-filled clouds?)

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    Lovely Spam, Wonderful Spam
    I took a moment to actually look at one of the dozens of spam messages I receive daily. It's especially interesting to note how the spammers reduce the percentage of "spam words" in their messages by including a number of random words in the message. For example, this [edited] message only includes one obvious spam word (the misspelled word "V1codin" in the title) amongst an array of other words (not, unfortunately, including Ludo Cremers' "vibrant urban multicultural smoker"):

    -----Original Message-----
    From: marcene Hacker [mailto:gktflpxr@acumark.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 1:33 PM
    To: authority@ftpbox.[suppressed].com
    Subject: tooth V1codin punishment

    why question bone end heat baby library and blue brake have coat bird wise material wing order picture measure left

    Please Wait..Image Loading If image fails to load cl-ick here

    and design early responsible camera development push berry change root through name soft wound spade picture level retrelation balance normal son kiss certain feeble stretch basket every such ray smoke finger burn jump old stage work dependent tin be snow apple harmony force drink sneeze now take drop early twist direction basket group hanging growth porter swim bee loud name ever sock birth carriage sneeze flat but agreement deep pin development reaction important now value curve butter soft level space chance building false very market bite off government clean back flame support sugar hope impulse print certain when bite small yesterday fish leg if father spring plate structure pipe meal pull connection plow wax brother necessary arch recordreg fly pipe seed basket through after thing fiction bird angle representative cold special relation tin respect box crush meeting safe attraction business private butter female respect bird straight discussion name morning woman chin regular attention library burst verse skin current harmony lift smooth country clean religion though reading fire hole start slow wall light touch quite coal if metal start wave left dependent month off engine wound request pocket shut tight across protest brass pleasure different debt memory town move foolish church fish request pleasure private grass curtain ball family knowledge addition shame range muscle send grip waste key yellow card fowl instrument smooth knife attack knee quality wine goat plant female use glove young night a slope condition base bent attention manager dress safe language lord medical hole key true move crack full selection base sponge copy cheap smooth where short mind thunder nation milk tall near run attraction and dead bone mist limit discussion why throat color smoke seswim blow flight group support bath sudden blue range young theory pot copper hollow move say form station religion awake teaching rub religion heat pull or authority attraction linen potato stone print chemical opposite journey acid be existence book see existence hope sock throat debt force argument night circle school angry land knife run ear monkey father screw oil cover gun idea dust mixed if request water living hook light potato recordreg tall kettle yesterday blood cotton apple basket shut shoe board day poison development tight church wax poison cheap observation insect winter dog wall heat voice fire face free slow use knee profit growth sweet coal nose ticket design fold bird see wheel camera heat surpri road

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    Sunday, April 18, 2004


    More on Client
    I finally bought the Client album on Saturday morning.

    You can hear song samples from the album at the Tower Records entry for the album.

    I posted my first impressions of the album at Head In The Clouds (the message board formerly known as Eddyland).

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    Friday, April 16, 2004


    Even Calculated Modesty is Refreshing
    The Client official site includes a reviews page. Unusually for an artist-sponsored site, this review is included:

    Sleazenation, 01.09.03
    Two women from Britain's industrial wasteland dig the style of Detroit's Adult. so decide to make an LP of awful electro-pop. This is as pseudo as it gets. Client is a zeitgeist exploiting abomination that is as about as sexy as a used rubber in a Homebase carpark. Yes, it's that over. Ditch the Human League impressions and get back to the knitting ladies.


    I've only heard two songs so far, but agree with the general consensus that "Rock and Roll Machine" is better than average.

    Michael Elves, a reviewer for the University of Manitoba Manitoban, agrees with the positive assessment of "Rock and Roll Machine," but doesn't go much farther in praising the first Client album:

    The album contains a couple of standout tracks, but they are scattered amongst so much dross that my interest vacillated between raised and dashed too frequently and ultimately settled on the latter. Had Client A and B (for that is what the two English women are called separately) just released "Rock and Roll Machine" and "Love All Night" on their own, most listeners would have assumed the duo were a phenomenal act that could coolly out-sex groups like Ladytron or Adult.. The rest of the material proves a valuable lesson in why one should never assume.

    Excerpts from some customer reviews at djpeanuts:

    I think there’s something brilliant in obsessively repeating rock’n’roll is all you wanna do while your song keeps playing a basic electro pop formula. Call it self-indulgence or whatever you like, but it actually works....

    Whilst most of Client’s songs concern references to seedy sex best described as ‘saucy electro’ (an ode to Soft Cell’s debut 'Non Stop Erotic Cabaret' perhaps?). Rock And Roll Machine is a statement of personal intent from the word go. Client B opens her heart and tells us of her desire for a better life. A dirty fat bass kicks in with cold beats programmed beyond perfection by Mute’s prized Sie Medway-Smith whilst Client B tells us; ‘Rain keeps falling down, I’ll leave this northern town. I’ll run from your mentality and leave you all behind you'll see.’ And then comes the killer-repeated chorus of ‘Rock and roll is all I wanna do’ to sequenced layers of analogue synths (and not a guitar in sight). This isn’t a simple desire to become a pop ‘wannabie’, it’s a heartfelt plea to escape the humdrum banality of normality and chase a better life....Rock And Roll Machine is up there with the League’s last commercial effort ‘All I Ever Wanted’ interestingly enough; those new to Client are already comparing them to the Human League. High praise indeed....

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    Trendsetting Multicultural Smoker Revisited
    I have posted excerpts from and comments on a Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder editorial in this Eddyland thread.

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    Thursday, April 15, 2004


    More on Mike Bullard Cancellation
    From a March 12, 2004 CBC article:

    Mike Bullard, Canada's only network late-night talk show host, is out of a job.

    That's because the Global Television Network announced Friday it is cancelling The Mike Bullard Show, effective immediately....

    On Global, Bullard averaged 72,000 viewers per night. When he left CTV, where he had been host of Open Mike for six years, he was drawing about 129,000 viewers.

    Hamilton was unable to explain why Bullard's audience didn't follow him to the new network. "I'm a little unsure of the reason why it didn't catch on," he said, adding that Global did not see any reason to believe the numbers would improve.

    Industry observers noted that the avuncular comedian had his work cut out for him. Not only was he up against David Letterman and Jay Leno, but when he left CTV his former bosses also replaced him an American import, Jon Stewart's highly popular faux newscast, The Daily Show....

    When he left CTV, Bullard was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the network. In Davidson's view, burning his bridges in such a public way did not help win him any new fans....

    Davidson believes Bullard may want to look into radio as a possible future home for his talents, or a group of television stations like the CHUM family. He doesn't see Bullard getting another chance at a network gig.

    "Unless he has a friend at CBC, I have a hard time picturing that."

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    Not End of an Era, But End of a 6+ Year Period
    Whenever I would travel to Canada, I would make a point to watch the Canadian variety show Open Mike With Mike Bullard. Let's face it, you can't see it back at home. (I would watch The Weather Network for the same reason.)

    After my last trip to Canada in July, I signed up for the mailing list for the Open Mike show. Funny thing, I never got any traffic from that list.

    Now I know why.

    Mike Bullard's contract with CTV expired shortly after completing his sixth season of Open Mike with Mike Bullard, at which time he began talks with Global to move his show to their network. In August 2003, he signed a multi-year deal with Global to host a new show on their network that would be similar to Open Mike....Since its debut, the ratings for The Mike Bullard Show weren't very good. The show pulled in 96,000 viewers on its first night, but that number dropped to 54,000 on its second night....After only 60 shows aired over 13 weeks, Doug Hoover, Global's senior vice-president of programming, announced in a press release on March 12, 2004, that the network had cancelled the show due to poor ratings. The show's overall weekly average throughout its run was only 71,600 viewers, a very disappointing number, especially considering the fact that Bullard averaged 129,000 viewers back when he hosted Open Mike and that The Daily Show on CTV had consistently beaten Bullard in the ratings since the show's debut....

    The CBC's Dan Brown expressed an interesting viewpoint back in November 2003:

    Mike Bullard's new talk show, aptly titled The Mike Bullard Show, debuted on Global this week. Bullard's first interview was with a B-list American star named Joely Fisher....

    ...When you're starting a new show on a new network, first guests matter. When David Letterman restarted his late-night career on CBS in 1993, that honour went to Bill Murray. It was an important choice because of the symbolism.

    You see, the star of Stripes and Groundhog Day had been Letterman's debut guest during his run on NBC, so his presence on CBS stressed continuity with the past. By having Murray appear on Late Show, Letterman wordlessly indicated that even though he had a new corporate master, he was the same old Dave at heart....

    Why not have a genuine Canadian icon as the premier guest on Canada's only late-night talk show? Was Wayne Gretzky not available? And if he wasn't, how about Stompin' Tom Connors? If not Connors, why not Mike Myers? After all, he's been promoting the hell out of his new movie, The Cat in the Hat, lately. Doesn't anybody famous and Canadian owe Bullard a favour?

    You can see where I'm going with my rhetorical questions. Gretzky or Connors or Myers or just about any other Canadian celebrity would have sent a powerful signal. It would say to the viewing public: The Mike Bullard Show is different: it's the only place in late night where you're guaranteed to get a regular dose of Canadiana.

    Such a guest would have set Bullard's new program apart, rather than making it seem more like his American competitors. I don't believe Bullard can win the ratings game by aping Letterman and Leno. I would have chosen a big-name Canadian as the inaugural guest not because I'm a cultural nationalist; it's just smart programming....

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    Wednesday, April 14, 2004


    A Little More on Slim Whitman
    Not counting Daryl Jenks, I saw four major concerts in Portland in the early 1980s: Devo, Willie Nelson/Kris Kristofferson, Jan and Dean, and Slim Whitman. With apologies to Jan Berry (who died not long after I wrote about him), the Jan and Dean show was the worst of the lot. Slim Whitman was by far the best. He and his son Byron gave a good show for the audience, and he patiently stayed after the show to sign autographs. (Not sure where my autograph ended up...pity.)

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    OPM
    Some time after visiting Eddyland and We Will Entertain You, I got the Pat Benatar song "Love is a Battlefield" stuck in my head. Don't know why; it just happened.

    This song stands out as Benatar's foray into OPM (OverProduced Music). As such, it's brilliant - vocals coming in and out of nowhere, screams, guitars, keyboards, almost the entire kitchen sink. Let's put it this way - this song was popular at the time of Slim Whitman's comeback, and Bentar made Whitman sound conventional.

    By the way, here's Slim on "Indian Love Call": "All I did was throw in a few yodels for good measure, and the folks seemed to go for it."

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    Friday, April 09, 2004


    For broadband music lovers
    Enjoy the di.fm trance channel.

    (0) comments links to this post

    The Seventeenth Minute
    Trista & Ryan Vow to Boycott Iams over Cruel Experiments on Dogs and Cats

    OK, I'm still mad about the comparison between Trista & Ryan and Gerald Ford. (12/11/2003)

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    False Rumor Alert
    I hadn't even heard this one before, so I guess I should count myself lucky. There's a whole thread of posts on one of the Yahoo! message boards (not Pepsi's board). I won't dignify the rumor by posting it, but here's Pepsi's response:

    We wanted to clarify an erroneous report that has been circulating around cyberspace for some time. Pepsi has not created any packaging containing an edited version of America's Pledge of Allegiance. A patriotic package used in 2001 by Dr Pepper (which is not a part of PepsiCo) was inappropriately linked to this rumor. Dr Pepper's position is very clearly articulated at: http://www.dpsu.com/drpepper_can.html.

    And Dr. Pepper says:

    A Note to Dr Pepper Consumers:

    In February 2002, several news media outlets in the country reported on a special edition Dr Pepper can that was created to show support for the patriotic fervor that has been sweeping America since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and to show the world that we are a united nation of people who place a high value upon freedom.

    Much of the information being circulated on this subject, especially on the Internet, is incomplete or inaccurate. Here are the facts:

    The can, released in November 2001, features an image of the Statue of Liberty along with the words "One Nation … Indivisible." The special packaging was designed to reflect our pride in this country's determination to stand together as one. The Statue of Liberty and Pledge of Allegiance were chosen as two of the greatest symbols of American freedom. Only three words were used from the Pledge of Allegiance. Those three words were in concert with the patriotic mood of the nation.

    We at Dr Pepper/Seven Up strongly believe that the message on these cans is a resoundingly patriotic message that we are a united nation.

    More than 41 million special edition cans were ordered by Dr Pepper bottlers in portions of a dozen states. The limited edition patriotic was retired in February 2002 and will not be used again.

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    Let's review the concept of teleconferencing...
    I am a member of a mailing list. The following message was posted to the list a few days ago (see excerpts; emphasis mine):

    I would like to extend a special invitation for you to participate in
    the 25th installment of International Biometric Group's "Biometric
    Business and Technology" monthly teleconference series this Thursday,
    April 8, at 1pm ET....

    The call will take place on Thursday, April 8 at 1:00 pm ET (10:00 am
    PT). There is no charge to join the call, which will last up to an
    hour, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions....


    A follow-up question was subsequently posted to the list:

    who will pay the travell [sic] expences [sic] ?

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    Thursday, April 08, 2004


    I'm trying...
    OK, name any one site that mentions Ludo Cremers, Bill Wyatt, and Reinald Steck on the same page. I defy you to do so.

    (0) comments links to this post

    Update on Reinald Steck
    From Little Green Footballs:

    Dear Mr. Johnson,

    Thank you for your concern and support. Unfortunately the letter is not only true but the “author” has admitted writing it.

    Best Wishes
    Esti Sherbelis
    International Relations Coordinator
    Israel Medical Association
    2 Twin Towers
    35 Jabotinsky St. P.O.Box 3566
    Ramat Gan 52136
    Israel


    See my April 6 entry for background.

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    It's nice to share!
    Need to make sure that my friends know about the inspirational prose of Ludo Cremers.

    (0) comments links to this post

    This is what he said. This is what Ludo Cremers said.
    After running across the "trendsetting multicultural smoker" line, I wondered what else Ludo Cremers has said.

    "Kool understands the vibrant urban world of the trendsetting, multicultural smoker....Kool is the menthol authority. At the same time, Kool keeps it real and remains linked to the latest urban trends."

    "Flavored products are a trend in many categories....From beverages to chewing gums, this is a universal trend with broad interest."

    "KOOL is truly on the cutting edge of menthol technology....KOOL established the menthol category and continues to reinvent it to give consumers a product that fits the lifestyle of today's urban, multicultural smokers. The new KOOL Smooth Fusions cigarettes are perfectly balanced, yet deliver intriguing refreshment with a taste that bonds with any special occasion....Each style evidences KOOL expertise in menthol and its ability to masterfully craft perfectly balanced, unique and distinct menthol experiences....The Smooth Fusions styles each provide a truly extraordinary and innovative menthol smoking experience demanded by the leading edge lifestyle of today's menthol smoker."

    "The new packaging provides our first invitation for competitive smokers to step into the new house of menthol....Results of our extensive research demonstrate how well we are embracing our consumers....KOOL has always been the cornerstone of the menthol category and 'The House of Menthol' advertising campaign reinforces KOOL as the menthol leader....The House of Menthol campaign puts KOOL back into the consumer's world and has great appeal among competitive smokers. It uses their language. The campaign provides a great opportunity toward reestablishing KOOL's menthol leadership and authority."

    I'm sorry, but I love Ludo. Ludo is DOWN with menthol. Word!

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    Forget cute animated characters, I'm taking my family to see blood and gore!
    I'm sure that Steven Mallas at the Motley Fool is a knowledgeable investor, but this
    statement from him left me bewildered:

    (certainly the recent religious juggernaut, The Passion of the Christ, is proving an unexpected capturer of bucks that might otherwise have made it into Disney's coffers)

    Huh?

    This assertion rests on the faulty assumption that most Christian families like Disney entertainment, and most people who like Disney entertainment are Christian families.

    I'll take my kid to see a Disney picture. I won't take my kid to see Passion.

    Now, let's present this list of films to conversative Christian families and see how many of them would attend these movies:

  • This 1937 film is an occult thriller that includes a reverse "Three's Company" domestic set-up (one woman, many men), as well as a poisoning.

  • This 1940 film includes an extended sequence entitled "Pleasure Island."

  • This film, also from 1940, promotes non-Christian religions such as sorcery and the worship of the Greek gods.

  • This violence-packaged 1942 film is very upsetting to children.

  • This 1953 film is a favorite of suspected child molestors.

  • Do you love the occult lyrics in Led Zeppelin movies? Well, check this 1963 film for more of the same!


  • Yes, I see the conservative Christian families lining up right now to enjoy these films - don't you?

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    Wednesday, April 07, 2004


    This Person is Not a Trendsetting Multicultural Smoker
    Bill Wyatt claims to be the second-most popular Republican candidate for President. And he is - if "uncommitted" is ignored.

    As of today, Republican primary vote totals are as follows:

    Bush = 4,555,451 votes
    Uncommitted = 67,572 votes
    Bill Wyatt = 10,847 votes
    (write-in/others) = 10,672 votes
    Blake Ashby = 1,245 votes


    No other candidate has received more than 1,000 votes.

    Top Ten Campaign Planks for Bill Wyatt

    1) You Make a Difference: Don't let your vote be taken for granted.

    2) Truthfulness: Create a tansparant administration to put sincerity back into the White House.

    3) Enforce Our Laws: The Bush immigration reforms that are proposed would weaken our borders and lower our wages.

    4) Health before Wealth: The medical industry is ripping us off with exhorbant cost, let's make sure we all have insurance so that we don't have to be afraid of getting sick. Decriminalize marijuana, insure the population and control health cost.



    2nd Place in a fake primary means nothing?
    No calls back from the GOP about my invitation to the convention in New York yet. Isn't 2nd place in the Republican primary worth some credibility? If it means nothing then the primary means nothing and it wasn't a legitimate election. All that 170M should be given back to the people who earned it. I competed in more elections around the country than anyone besides George W. Bush himself, who had unhindered ballot access. I got second place in two of the five states that I ran directly against Bush in, including a strong 10% showing in Oklahoma. I even got more votes than Bush in Arizona, a state that Bush didn't even file for the primary in. I filed, he didn't. I watched the clerk slide my affidavit into a drawer as if she would never have to look at it again, then they allowed me to run in the Democratic primary, an absurdity to say the least. As a result I got more actual votes than George Bush got in that state and unless they want to have another primary, I should get the delegates from that state too.

    All of this combined, I should have the same standing as Edwards does in the Democratic primary. All he did was finish second place too. It took Bush 170 million dollars to beat me, that is quite a figure compared to my personal expenditures of approximately 12-15k. Isn't this "new economy" created by our democracy hilarious? "Bush's administration is worse than Nixon's" - Telegraph.uk, confirming my claim all along, we aren't even qualified to be shareholders in this administration. If votes don't count and money does then just say so and stop lying to the world that we are somehow operating on high moral values that are better-than everyone else. I demand a spot at the table in New York and if I'm not inside you can guarantee that I will be one of the loudest voices outside the event.
    Always split Aces
    What if a country took over Texas by military action and told the people of that great state that elections would be held by a lottery conducted by OPEC, a fair and well-funded organization? Would the Texans accept their actions or take up arms? Unless the Iraqis are willing to accept the fact that the corporate interest of America as their arbiters of power and their futures, then we should not expect them to accept our will to establish their government. To expect otherwise is to continue in a delusional path of blood for commerce and that is not the purpose of our military, nor should it be the mission of it's commander in chief.

    Split Iraq into three countries and then get out. We have successfully removed the tyrant, now let the Iraqis define thier future. It is not our job to sacrafice soldiers for the economic benefit of the companies that have contracts in Iraq and it is not our duty to keep the people of Ira1q safe from each other. Create three culturally based countries and let them deal with keeping the peace. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again; we should have realistic goals not motivated by greed.
    Numbers don't lie, unless they are wrong
    If the statistical reports are true, not fabricated or misleading, then jobs are increasing and that's a good thing. As such I would have to admit that the economic outlook may be brighter than this lagging economic indicator previously implied. I could even be wrong that the recovery is continuing without jobs. Yes, I can say that, but Mr. Bush can you? There are clearly questions as to what type of jobs are being added for the long term outlook of the future, but jobs are jobs and you've got to start somewhere. Now for something completely different:
    US COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
    SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA
    1. Petitioner filed for an Emergency Injunction 2-2-04 case CV 00226-PHX-MHM in Phoenix District Court to stop the Arizona Democratic Primary because the Republican Primary had been cancelled in violation of the US Constitution that an election be held for President of the United States.
    REMEDY: Real Elections or Give The Money Back
    Date: 04.03.04 - Los Angeles, CA -9th Circuit gets Writ of Mandamus from Dick Bosa on cancelled Arizona primary. Dick plows ahead pushing on to expose the Republican primary sham that has stolen the democratic values away from the people of the state of Arizona and the rest of the country. I'll file an amicus brief in support of this action and I have been told that the GOP in Arizona is having an emergency secret caucus to try and cover the illegal canceling of the primary there. I have been personally denied access to the ballot in the GOP primary and they even took my application at the Secrectary of State's office and put it in a drawer then allowed me to run in the Democratic primary as a consolation prize.

    Dick is right on pressing the matter if only for PR purposes, but the fact that the AZGOP is having a backroom caucus is disturbing since on numerous occasions I have contacted them and they have refused to allow anyone else but Bush to participate in the process. Way to go Dick, See BUSH run.

    I consider the actions to call for a new primary valid, minimally however, Bush should have to return the funds that have been raised based on this bunk election and the same should be done in all of the other states that cancelled their primaries or that refused to let anyone other than Bush be on the ballot.
    April 1, 2004: Is that all there is?
    My campaign has been reduced in focus to emphasize issues that I can represent at the convention in New York in the fall.
    Top Ten Campaign Planks for Bill Wyatt
    1) You Make a Difference: Don't let your vote be taken for granted.

    2) Truthfulness: Create a tansparant administration to put sincerity back into the White House.

    3) Enforce Our Laws: The Bush immigration reforms that are proposed would weaken our borders and lower our wages.

    4) Health before Wealth: The medical industry is ripping us off with exhorbant cost, let's make sure we all have insurance so that we don't have to be afraid of getting sick. Decriminalize marijuana, insure the population and control health cost.
    Now for something completely different:

    5) Split Iraq: Give each of the separate ethnic/cultural regions of Iraq something as a result of our military action, separate states, then get the hell out and let them sort out the problem. Everyone agrees that Saddam being gone is a good-thing and everyone agrees that our democratic rule of Iraq is a bad-thing. Take the good, leave the bad.

    6) Voodoo Recovery: Increased spending is a tax increase for future generations and results in a bloated unsustainable government with huge deficits. Creating jobs by increasing military spending and benefits for corporations is not a viable plan for the future. We need a WOJ, War on Joblessness and we need to focus on creating a future that provides a way for our citizens to have a quality method of making a decent living. It is wishful thinking that a few hundred extra dollars in the hands of middle class America will do anything more than create a blip on screen in retail America.

    7) Rational expectations: Stop trying to force the public to believe things that are unrealistic and recognize the shortcomings of policies when the results are not what are expected. Case and Point: WMDs in Iraq.

    8) Stop Spam and Stop allowing the RIAA to prosecute children; I huge amount of our personal and business resources are being wasted by abuses on the internet, we need to take direct action to protecting the privacy of our citizens from unsolicited emails. The RIAA is out of control and are probably being encouraged by the government to solve the problem on their own. As a result our population is being treated like criminals for using the internet. Downloading anything on the internet is like watching TV and we need to stop prosecuting individuals for downloading anything. Unless individuals are economically benefiting from the process they should be immune from prosecution by renegade lobbying groups. If neccessary Abolish the RIAA.

    10) Balance the Budget: The Bush administration has increased the size of the government at a rate faster than any previous administration. We need to scale back the size of government in order to balance the budget.


    Yes, there isn't an item 9.



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    Kool!
    I don't believe that tobacco companies are the antichrist, but they sure are funny at times. Look at how Kool can be cool:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    March 17, 2004
    Contact: Steve Kottak
    502-568-7193

    KOOL CELEBRATES HIP-HOP CULTURE WITH YEAR-LONG EVENTS
    Louisville, KY - Kool is staging a massive series of events this year to celebrate the energy and creativity of the urban Hip-Hop culture.

    The cornerstone of the celebration is Kool Mixx 2004....

    "Kool understands the vibrant urban world of the trendsetting, multicultural smoker," said Ludo Cremers, divisional vice president, brand marketing. "Kool is the menthol authority. At the same time, Kool keeps it real and remains linked to the latest urban trends. We'll showcase these trends this year through Kool Mixx and other promotions and events."




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    We May Have Some Presidential Nominees Soon
    Both the Republicans and the Democrats are close to officially determining their nominees. For example, John Kerry currently has a hard delegate total of 1,819 delegates; he needs 2,162.

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    Christian Trance?
    Anyone know anything about Andy Hunter or his album Exodus?

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    Tuesday, April 06, 2004


    Reinald Steck and the Commandos
    The Little Green Footballs weblog has posted an e-mail message, purportedly from a Reinald Steck, addressed to a representative of an Israeli medical association. The message read, in part:

    We will release the requested information to you after you become a MediConf customer: http://www.mediconf.de

    Sincerely,
    Reinald Steck

    P.S. We are pretty sure that your previously so desperate need for information about medical conferences in San Diego in June and July has suddenly vanished! ;-)

    P.P.S. Are you going to send an Israeli commando to kill us now, because maybe you don’t like what we wrote?

    P.P.S. Why don’t you kill all the Palestinians? You have taken almost all their land, and they are all poor, inferior, brutish, violent terrorists anyway, aren’t they?

    You might as well finish the job already started. Just a few million more.

    Thank God all Jews are compassionate doctors (according to TIME magazine).


    When I tried to access www.mediconf.de, the presented page was blank. However, Google has a cache of the site. Wonder if a denial of service attack is going on?

    Needless to say, the original post in Little Green Footballs resulted in a slew of comments, many wondering if the whole thing was a hoax. Here are some sample comments:

    I'm gonna go out on a limb, and guess that the various postscripts were not actually authored by "Reinald Steck", but rather by some antisemitic freak working in his office who thought (s)he was being clever. Hard to say for sure, of course, but it would seem odd that Steck would first write a very bland respond-to-customer letter, then add this dreck himself.

    I'm a professional editor and feel that this has the earmarks of someone attempting to pull the wool over someone's eyes, though it's hard to tell who, and over whose.

    I received this letter from several people whom I trust; and I was told it had been verified.

    The only thing shocking about this is people claiming to be shocked. Especially Jews.

    I don't speak German (although I took a couple of years in high school) but I've edited a lot of writing by non-native speakers, and I have guessed the mother tongue of the author based on the style of the English. Once I even knew the author of a piece I was translating from Hebrew into English was originally from Germany (his sentences were about five miles long, and he liked to put verbs at the end).

    If this is a hoax, Mediconf will appreciate this and be able to marshall the resources to stop it.

    Until we find out whether Reinald Steck is the PS POS, it's best to hold fire. If he's been spoofed, he has as much right to be angry as anyone else.

    I too have a geat deal of experience spotting fakes and hoaxes, and to me this email has the ring of authenticity. I have little knowledge of the corporate world so it may very well be that someone else in the German company added the PSes without the original sender's knowledge. But either way, someone in Germany wrote those PSes seriously, whether or not it was Herr Steck. The atmosphere in Western Europe has become so saturated with anti-Israelism that someone immersed in it would feel natural and justified writing such a letter.


    Well, mediconf.com does work, and it includes a copyright notice for Fairbase Database Limited. A description of the database is available here.

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    Now what you hear is not a test
    There's a common joke about the people in Tornado Alley who continue to rebuild right in the tornado path. (One comedian has stated that "your houses have wheels...drive somewhere else!")

    However, some people choose not to rebuild. Here's the opening lyrics of Phil Rosenthal's song "Muddy Water":

    Mary grab the baby river's rising
    Muddy water's taking back the land
    Well this old house it won't take one more beating
    Ain't no use to stay and make a stand.


    And the chorus:

    I won't be back to start all over
    'Cause what I felt before is gone
    Mary grab the baby river's rising
    Muddy water's taking back our home.


    Phil recorded this song while he was a member of the
    Seldom Scene. I heard this original version over the weekend on the Music Choice Bluegrass channel. I'm much more familiar with Johnny Cash's cover version, which appears on his album Silver.

    Phil has long since left the Seldom Scene. However, the Seldom Scene is still going strong, and still releases albums on Sugar Hill Records. For people with a certain musical background, this tidbit can cause a bit of confusion.

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    Friday, April 02, 2004


    Route 66 Website
    The California Route 66 Preservation Foundation website is here. Follow the interactive map from the Colorado River west to Santa Monica.

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    Thursday, April 01, 2004


    Am I the Only Person Who Likes TOTAL DEVO?
    Wilson and Alroy I can understand, since they have extremely high (?) standards. Here's what they said:

    Bizarrely, breath-takingly, brain-batteringly bad. Well, "The Shadow" isn't that bad...but the rest is: lifeless, hermetic dance-pop that you won't want to dance to ("Disco Dancer," my butt). Every tune is based on relentlessly repetitive drum programming ("Some Things Never Change") with equally unsubtle keyboards. "Disco Dancer" sports funk-style rhythm guitar, but it's as dry as the rest....

    Here's the All Music Guide entry:

    No longer innovative and not incredibly compelling....Diehards may want this album for the "Disco Dancer" single, but overall, the album doesn't really approach past Devo successes.

    Excerpts from some customers reviews at Amazon:

    Devo is great but as far as recordings go this is about as fun as watching paint dry.

    1988 found DEVO getting belated recognition as the pioneers that they are, but you wouldn't know it from "Total Devo." There are exactly two great songs here, and they are "Baby Doll" and "Disco Dancer." Both are available on "Pioneers That Got Scalped," if you must. But after that, only "Sexi-luv" gets it devo-tee right.

    Most of the songs are just not so memorable. Most of it is bland synth-pop.


    OK, here's MY take on the album:

    1. Baby Doll

    Here's your clue that things aren't going to be that subtle - whether because of David Kendrick or something else, you can see that this album has a BEAT. "Baby Doll" itself is an entertaining Eastern rock pop dance thingy whatever.

    2. Disco Dancer

    For me, just the very fact of some thirty-somethings talking about disco 10-15 years after the fact is entertaining. I prefer the album mix to some of the dance mixes, but they're all entertaining.

    3. Some Things Never Change

    I recommend the cassette version, with the spoken portion in the middle - reminds me of "Smart Patrol" in some way. In fact, all of the lyrics have the de-evolutionary feel (well, except for the Beatles quote from "A Day in the Life"). Pre-processed "Hang your head"s rule.

    4. Plain Truth

    One of three disposable songs.

    5. Happy Guy

    Again, this lyrically reminds one of "Freedom of Choice." Generally, they've taken the older philosophies and updated them with a new sound.

    6. Don't Be Cruel

    Second of the disposables. What happened? Devo's covers often offer a different take on the original - "Satisfaction," "Secret Agent Man," "Worried Man," "Working in the Coal Mine," "Are You Experienced?" - but this one could have been recorded by any schlock cover band.

    7. Shadow

    Devo and St. Paul? Now THAT'S new. In between comments on TV preachers, Devo nearly verbatim lifts Paul's comment from the New Testament that he doesn't do what he should do, but does what he shouldn't.

    8. I'd Cry If You Died

    Third of the disposables.

    9. Agitated

    First of the essentials. Praise to whoever sequenced this album, which wraps up with some very strong songs. I'll grant that if you don't like Devo, you'll run screaming. The backing vocals (hoo haa hoo) are sophmoric, the lyricist is obviously STILL traumatized by the National Guard shootings at Kent State, and you have that pounding BEAT. I love it.

    10. Man Turned Inside Out

    Second of the essentials. The boys who like to play dress-up sing about putting on a fiberglass helmet with some goggles to match. Another guy with messed up emotions, accompanied by synth squeaks. I love this one too.

    11. Sexi Luv

    Third of the essentials. I never heard DOVE until a few days ago, and I always imagined that if Dove and Devo were the same band (yes, I know they are, but you know what I mean), the result would sound like this - love, peace, lust, and sophomoric inanity. A love song for our times.

    12. Blow Up

    Someday I would like to construct a Devo medley consisting of "S.I.B. (Swelling Itching Brain)," "Going Under," and this song. This spudboy's declaration of love ends the album on just the right note. Incidentally, today is my anniversary (no foolin'), but I don't think I'll sing this to the wife.

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