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Archive for September, 2008

Update on the Nigerian scam

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 700 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully,
Minister of Treasury Paulson

Ganked from Mark Evanier.

National Book Festival and Clarendon Day

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Friday night I was trying to finish some DVDs to give out copies on Saturday, but for some reason the video for the second disc would only record at half speed (some weird LP/SP thing, so I gave up, still going to bed late. That didn’t put me in a great mood when the scratching started later. There was a thunderstorm and Illa wasn’t happy about being put in the guest bedroom. He made so much noise I could hear him quite well through two doors and the fan going, so I tried some other techniques which didn’t work. Eventually I fell asleep on the floor (again).

When the alarm went off Saturday morning (I did make it back to bed eventually) I wasn’t happy, but dealt. A quick breakfast and I was on the road, soon at the Mall for the National Book Festival. Neil Gaiman was doing a reading from his new book and a q&a, and I arrived just in time. He was his usual funny and charming self, and too soon it was over. I picked up the book (otherwise it’s only on sale Tuesday) and headed out. – I was in the signing line the last two times he was there, and didn’t want to lose the 3-4 hours that would take this time.

Neil Gaiman at the National Book Festival

My next stop was Clarendon Day to check out Chelsea Lee with Todd Wright, good as usual with a nice Alan Parsons Project cover tossed in. I also had to hit the Eleventh Street Lounge for their duck rolls again – I’m baffled as to how I haven’t eaten there yet, sometime soon. I finally headed home, amazed that though the rain was on and off all day, I never really got rained on when I was outside walking around. I baked pork chops with apple slices and green beans while Jill made mashed potatoes and gravy. We caught up on some TV shows and had some lemon meringue and chocolate dipped strawberries she’d picked up for dessert.

Today was the usual – made DVDs, started eBay auctions, read the paper. Watched the Skins pick up a rare win in Dallas, that was exciting. I made a Thai garlic pork for dinner, turned out pretty well. Can’t believe another weekend is over so quickly – oh well.

Movies I’ve watched, week thirty-eight

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

58. Live Free Or Die Hard
Did I like it because it was good, or I just needed a decent action movie? I have to rate it above the third movie – Bruce Willis is still a credible action hero regardless of how inane the computer sequences are. B

Books I’ve read, week thirty-eight

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

61. V: The Crivit Experiment
Writer: Allen L. Wold
With some similar plotlines to one of the TV episodes, it’s better to watch it first to get an idea of the alien predator the Visitors are breeding. Interesting just from a spying perspective as the resistance bugs the alien’s hq. C+

A case of the Mondays

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Work wasn’t bad yesterday, and I had a nice massage afterwards and planned to spend a nice evening watching Heroes and reading the paper. That changed when Jill got home and couldn’t open the door. The handle had been loose but it was still working fine before that, but now the key wouldn’t work. I took the mechanism apart and it seemed like I just needed a new lock, decided to go look after dinner. Then I turned on the DVR and it was 98% full instead of the 48% full it had been in the morning, and it was busy deleting old shows to make room. A reboot didn’t help, and I had to delete other shows until I found a movie had become corrupt and had gone from 8% of the drive to 70%, and it seemed ok after I deleted it.

After a quick dinner of salad and burgers, I had an idea about using a lock from another door, but something wasn’t quite right. I went to Home Depot to get a replacement, but they only sold doorknob sets, and the complete set to replace our door hardware would’ve run about $150, so I returned home. I got it working eventually, but it the handle was an inch down from where it was before and didn’t look quite right. I spent some more time trying to get it in the original position, but eventually figured out the other lock wasn’t shaped exactly like the old one and the screw holes weren’t quite in the right place. So I gave up and now the door handle’s a bit off and I still need to drill a new hole to attach the bottom as it had gotten too late by the time I finished. I did finish watching Heroes, great start to the season and far better than last season so far.

Latest videos

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Here’s some clips from recent DVDs:

Honeychuck at the Herndon Festival
Conversation
State Line

We’re About 9 at the Takoma Park Folk Festival
Go Home
Write It All Down

Eddie From Ohio at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival
Leon’s Going Down
War Paint

Bachelor lifestyle

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Jill was up in Pennsylvania at a review course for her boards since Thursday afternoon, so it was just me and the dog. I read lots of newspapers and watched a lot of TV Friday and Saturday, and did some eBay auctions and made DVDs on Saturday. I grilled lamb on Friday and made a BLT on Saturday – you can see how wild and crazy we get when left alone.

Today I actually made it out, as I met my dad at Largo Town Center in the morning and we headed over to FedEx Field to tailgate a bit (he brought beer, I brought brats) before heading into the Redskins game. I got the tix from a former coworker, and they’re awesome, 47 yard line, 12 rows up. Throw in a great game (and a win) and it was a good day. Jill was home by the time I got there, and Illa was happy to have both of us around. Some leftover pulled chicken for dinner as I was tired after spending a lot of time in the sun.

Redskins

Geek Public Service Announcement

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Add &fmt=6 to the end of any YouTube link to watch high quality (if available) by default.

Movies I’ve watched, week thirty-seven

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

57. Adaptation
I’ve got a soft spot for Charlie Kaufman – I really liked Being John Malkovich and loved Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, so another movie he wrote was something I was interested in trying. Unfortunately the first mistake was casting Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman in a very meta inside-your-head movie. The concept of following a screenwriter as he tries to adapt a book into a movie is clever, but they just don’t pull it off. C

Incidentally, check out a Wired section on Charlie Kaufman (he’s got a new movie he’s writing and directing) that’s like something he created.

Books I’ve read, week thirty-seven

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

60. V: The Alien Swordmaster
Writer: Somtow Sucharitkul
Interesting premise about aliens in Japan and using human martial arts, but the ending is telegraphed way too far in advance. C