Archive for Idiocy

People Really Fall for This?

I recently received a 419 scam email that starts like this:

Dear Chosen One,

I guess it beats “dear mass email recipient” or the more direct “dear pinhead.”

I hear Chosen One and I think of this:

The Chosen One

Busted.

Then came their problem:

My name is Mrs. Zarina Al-Usman, I am 59 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago. I have being lying critically ill at the hospital since January 12th, 2010 when I was recently diagnosed with Hypoglycemia.

Yeah, language barrier. Fine. But hypoglycemia? Really? It’s like they opened up a book of medical problems and said “Oh, that sounds really scary. Let’s use it.” Or maybe their cousin had it, and it really messed him up, so they punched it in.

I’m tempted to just send them a Snickers bar.

The rest was the usual: send them money to start the deposit process and free up the funds, keep this confidential, pray for me, etc.

It shocks me people fall for this. Yet 419 scammers have an estimated 1% success rate, with US losses totaling over $100 million. I know there are a lot of stupid people out there, but this is a whole new level. Anyone who receives this email and actually sends money deserves to get cleaned out.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Baby Time!

A friend of ours is having a baby very soon. I learned they’ll be having a c-section delivery on Tuesday. Naturally, I shared the news with my wife. Here’s the text I sent her (omitting only the names to protect the innocent):

“They are cutting her open on Tuesday and setting the baby free.”

I have such a way with words. So suave. What can I say? It’s part of my charm.

I couldn’t be happier for the couple, though. It’s the second child for the mother, and the first for the father. That poor guy doesn’t know what he’s in for, either. Our babies were delivered the old-fashioned way, which involves its own array of horrors and surprises for the uninitiated, so I didn’t know what to tell him.

I tried my best, though. I told him if all goes well, it should go down something like this:

Add a few margaritas, maybe a slow dance, and it’ll be a good time. Piece of cake.

I also felt he needed to be prepared for the bad. However small the chances may be, there’s always that tiny percentage of cases where everything goes sideways. Best to know, because knowing is half the battle.

We got a few beers into him, and at last he said “Okay, lay it on me.”

I decided I shouldn’t pull any punches. He’s tough. He can handle it. I downed that shot, looked him dead in the eye, and said “Worst case scenario? This is how it goes down:”

He turned a little green for a moment, but like I said, he’s tough. He can handle it.

After he regained his composure, we raised our drinks in a toast:

“Pray for a Kuato. Kanpai!

I feel better knowing he’s prepared for the big day. I’m all about sharing the wisdom, especially to close friends who need it the most. While nobody can truly be prepared for fatherhood, and we all just kind of fall into it, it helps to get all the advice and preparation one can get.

Pray for a Kuato. Words to live by.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Birfdays

It’s my brother’s birthday today. One of the divisible-by-5 milestones.

But he’s a good dude. Squeezed out of our mom about 18 months after I did. He’s getting himself edumacated. Good guy. Served his country. Single, too, ladies.

What’d I get him? There’s a hint at the end of the video. He’s about as interested in celebrating another year of survival as I am, so we instead talked about what to get my rugrats for their birthdays. You know, when they still count.

“Hey, look! You got taller! Here’s a video game. Get taller still. Don’t die.”

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Every time I run…

…I hear this in my head.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Insult to Toe Injury

One expects karate injuries during workouts and sparring. One does not expect injury during dojo pizza parties.

Thursday night a student ran at me and did a kneeslide toward my legs. His knee slammed into the front of my right big toe, jamming the toe and the nail. It bled, I cleaned it up, decided I’ll probably lose the nail, and moved on. I’ve had worse in class. Ripped a toenail during judo work, probably broke a toe another time, and I’ve had several other scrapes, bumps and bruises.

Sunday morning? Pus. Uh-oh. Cleaned it out again, realized there’s a small tear in or under the nail bed. Today I showed it to the nurse practitioner.

“You’re going to lose the nail,” she says.

Been there, done that. She recommends soaking it to clean it. No problem, my old podiatrists had me doing salt water soaks in my teens and twenties when I dealt with some ingrown toenails. Then she recommended an antibiotic just in case. No prob, right?

Check this shit out:

Side Effects

And I do mean "shit"

Yeah, that’s great news. No wonder it only costs four bucks a bottle. For those who can’t read the blurry stuff, here’s the transcription (pants-shitting emphasis mine):

May cause diarrhea during treatment. If it persists or becomes severe, tell your doctor or pharmacist.

Persistent diarrhea due to colitis may rarely occur weeks to months after using antibiotics. If this occurs, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Read the bold bits together for the full effect. Let that shit sink in (pun fully intended). I just took the first dose, and I picture a depth charge making its way through my guts.

One little toe injury and I have this to look forward to:

Maybe I can get True Lies-era Jamie Lee Curtis to spoon-feed me Activia to counter the effects. While dancing.

“No, do it… slower. Do it… sexy.”

Yeees…

Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh, right. Just don’t stand behind me for a while.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Photo Friday: I Hate McDonald’s

Really, I do. I only go there when I’m in a real hurry, so it’s probably once a month at best. Part of it is the food, but part of it is I’m getting sick of the poor quality of service at many of them. More often than not I have a problem, which says a lot given my infrequent visits.

Off the top of my mind, here are some of the most recent problems:

  • Given the wrong bag at the drive-thru
  • Asked for no pickle, and got pickle only (no ketchup, mustard, or onion, and the receipt even said no pickle)
  • Been asked to pull up and wait for my food, only to have the guy either forget about me or be unable to find me
  • Given no ketchup, napkins, and/or dipping sauces despite asking for them (this one’s constant)
  • When dining in, told they’d bring the fries out to us, then never got the fries (and then had to wait longer while they made a new batch)

Which brings us to today’s Photo Friday entry:

They fuck you at the drive through!

Seriously?

Understand, this is just recent memory, and this is at multiple locations. I can understand if one restaurant was populated by pinheads, but it seems to be a chronic problem. What’s worse is they work at a place that is constantly dumbing their job down for them. When there are pictures on the cash register, videos & manuals for every function in the place, and even a machine that handles all the drinks for you, it’s pretty damn hard to screw things up.

Yet these people find a way every day.

Next time I’ll learn the lesson Leo Getz tried to give us in Lethal Weapon 2:

Next week: the hockey and cheerleader pictures I never got around to uploading.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Snowpocalypse Now

PopSci posted the following picture from NASA’s Flickr stream showing the massive snowstorm moving across most of North America. This is why we’re going to get absolutely buried over the next day or so.

Major Winter Storm Takes Aim at Central U.S.

Suck it, North America!

Now I see why the milk and bread was cleaned out at the grocery store; it’s not so much the perishability as it is the stores may have a tough time getting restocked.

But it’s cool. I’m working on short stories (my editor at Evileye just dropped edits from yet another upcoming project on me) and we’re making nachos. Party on.

Of course, there’s something about that picture that’s been bothering me.

Something eerily familiar. I can’t quite place — wait a minute…

Oh, crap!

Om nom nom nom.

I for one welcome our new starfish overlord.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Big Business and Your Belly

I sat down and watched Food, Inc. this evening. Doing so during dinner may not have been the wisest choice, but honestly, it’s not so much the visuals that turn your stomach but the way big business has a grip on your health.

Look, I know chicken farming and slaughterhouse operations are no picnic, especially for the animals. I’m willing to accept there are better ways to do these things, and wherever possible I vote with my wallet. My wife and I know locally-grown food tastes better and is better for us, and that’s what we try to stick to for both ourselves and our children. We can’t afford to hit Fresh Market every time we shop, but at least we can pick and choose at Wal-Mart. The end of the movie acknowledges that voting with our wallets is starting to make a difference.

But it’s really not enough, and there’s a lot of shady things going on. To me the movie isn’t so much about the evils of capitalism as it is the ease with which we allow big business to take advantage of it. As usual, on paper it’s a great philosophy, but then people get involved and it all falls apart. Congressmen vote on things they don’t even understand, so they just go with big business and the big bucks because that’s where all the weight is.

I was going to have a long rant, but really, it’s not that interesting and the movie speaks for itself. If you’re on Netflix, it’s available to Watch Instantly. If not, at least track it down at Blockbuster or something. Educate yourself. Yeah, there’s a bit of an environmentalist agenda there, but it’s not hard to see through it and get the idea that some things need to change.

I was going to watch Super Size Me next, but I think I’ll save that for another night. I don’t want to be put off food for good just yet.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

You Got Some ‘Splainin to Do, Ladies

Ladies. Do you wear a Bumpit? If so, I felt you should know dudes just don’t care. I have yet to talk to a guy who finds them attractive. They seem to be all the rage in the Peoria bar scene, but all we do is sit there and poke fun. It’s almost become a drinking game.

Observe:

Bumpit Heads

Encephalitis kills, ladies.

This does not make us say “Wow, that’s hot!” This makes us say “Aww, what’s wrong with that otherwise-attractive girl’s freakishly enlarged head?”

Yes, we do have some interest in what you do with your hair. Some of you look good with long hair, some of you look good with short hair. We don’t want it shellacked to your head, and we’re a lot more forgiving of color than you may think. At some point after that we stop giving a shit.

What we don’t want, however, is to run our fingers through your hair and find a bear trap.

Bumpit

Concealed weapon.

I hope you also carry first aid kits in your purses when you’re wearing these.

So ladies, please, explain to me the appeal of these things. And guys, if the one or two of you out there could speak up and tell me what the appeal for you is, I’d appreciate it.

Then please make these things go away.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

About This 2012 Apocalypse Business

If you really believe the world is going to end on December 21st, 2012, you’re an asshole.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about why.

The whole thing is predicated on a Mayan belief the world exists in cycles, and every 13,000 years there’s an apocalyptic event and the world is reborn. By most accounts, that will occur on 12/21/12.

The first question you should be asking yourself is “Am I a Mayan?” followed closely by “Do I believe in the Mayan religion?” If the answers to these questions are no and no, but you still think the world is going to end, then yeah, you’re an asshole. If you’re picking out this one aspect of their religion and rolling with it, knowing nothing about the rest of their beliefs and practices, then you really need to back off and rethink your own belief system.

This is doubly true if you’re a Christian, Muslim or Jew. In this case, you should be ignoring the Mayan apocalypse altogether. Putting your faith in their calculations would be akin to believing Zeus still rules Olympus. Are you drawing parallels between the Book of Revelations and the Mayan apocalypse? Nice try. Keep in mind your Bible says the world is only 6000 years old, so you’ve got 7000 more to go. They can’t both be right!

Still don’t think you’re an asshole? It gets better. The Mayans don’t believe in an apocalypse themselves. The 12/21/12 date is just the end of a calendar period. It’s like 12/31/99: we marked a new Century and the world didn’t end despite the panic over everything from technological collapse to fire raining from the skies. Also, the Gregorian date calculation may be way off. Matching up two different calendars is far from an exact science, especially when those calendars are centuries or millennia old.

Now you’re going to tell me you have plenty of evidence. That’s cool, so does this asshole. I love this guy’s page, because at the top he says Christ may return on June 21st, 2009. Well, that hasn’t happened. So then he goes on to talk about May 14, 2011, at 9:32AM EST. Can’t get much more specific than that, can you? Oh, wait, he has a disclaimer: “We are reminded in scripture that no one can know for sure the exact date of the Lord’s return, so I do not put this out as a prediction or a certainty, but only as a possibility or hypotheses.”

Whaaaat!? He has an exact time! If he’s going to be that precise, he needs to stick to his guns. He might as well just say “Please don’t call me an asshole. I’m just batshit insane. My hobbies include furious wanking and rolling my turds into tight little balls.”

So, you go ahead and take your book of Mayan evidence, then go visit this guy’s page and read all of his evidence. I’ll let you decide which one sounds more crazy. If they both sound good, then yep, you’re a huge asshole. Meanwhile, I’m going to set an alarm on my calendar for May 14, 2011, 9:32AM so I can run outside and watch the skies for the big nothing to happen.

The only reason people believe in this crap at all is some combination of fear, superstition, and a complete lack of understanding of what they’re talking about. Y2K was a perfect example: those of us (well, most of us) who worked with computers just shook our heads while some people were stockpiling water, canned goods, and bullets. Nothing happened at midnight that night, and we were able to get a little peace and quiet at work for a while as the crazies hid in their cubicles in embarrassment.

Please, stop being an asshole and live your life. Don’t just listen to crackpots and people making their own guesses, and especially don’t listen to someone trying to sell you something. You’ll feel a lot better.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Coming Soon: Douchebag Lit

I’m not sure what else to call this crap by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from Jersey Shore, which I fear will spawn a whole genre. It’ll be on end caps, then we’ll see shelves like we do Twilight and its ilk.

I fully expected it to be garbage, but the excerpts that have come out take it to a whole new level. An example of her shining brilliance:

“Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. And stinky.”

I think the ghostwriter dropped about twenty IQ points trying to channel Snooki. In fact, most folks are already blaming the book’s very presence on the ghostwriter. I disagree. I blame the editor, the publisher, and the people who made Snooki a star. This is someone cashing in on the success of a TV show, and the ghostwriter was just following orders and collecting a paycheck. This is like Hollywood, pandering to the lowest common denominator because people are suckers for celebrity culture.

It’s all about glorifying stupidity.

I had hope it may actually bomb because I’m told the students at our school have expressed no interest in it; they haven’t asked the librarian to stock it, and they haven’t asked to borrow it from another library. Unfortunately it’s doing very well on Amazon’s sales rank. It’s averaging three stars on the reviews, but half of the five-star reviews are sarcastic.

The rest of the good reviews are from people like this:

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Fear and Trembling in Optometry

So I’ve got this headache again tonight. It’s happened a few times the last couple weeks, and I’m starting to worry it might be my contacts prescription. Only problem is I’m afraid to talk to my optometrist about it because he looks like Bolo Yeung.

from Bloodsport

"READ THE FIRST LINE!!"

You try picking option A or B with a yellow stream trickling down your leg. I dare you.

“Do you want weekly or monthly wear lenses, Mr Oliveri?” Whatever won’t get my neck broken, Mr Yeung, Sir.

Instead I’m going to go hit the neti pot and hope it’s just my sinuses instead, maybe drop some of this knock-off Tylenol. Then I’ll get back to work on The Pack: Lie with the Dead.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.