Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Nigerian 419 Scammer Called Me

I found the following e-mail in my main email account recently:

Hi, I am David C. Lee, Chief Inspection Agent- United Nations Inspection Unit at John F. Kennedy International airport, New York- working hand in hand with Department of Homeland Security and U.S Customs and Border Protection. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from London, UK and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a metal trunk box weighing approximately 25kg each. The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the shipping agent and also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.

On my assumption, each of the boxes will contain about $3Million to $4Million each and the consignment is still left in the storage house till today. The consignment are two metal boxes with weight of about 25kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective capacity: 110 LBS.). Approximately, the details of the consignment including your name and address, the official document from United Nation office in London are tagged on the Metal Trunk boxes.


You can send the required details to me by email for onward delivery. All communication must be held extremely confidential. I can get everything concluded within 5-6 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery if you assure me of sharing the content 30% for me / 70% with you on my arrival to your house.

I want us to transact this business with you and share the money, since the shipper has abandoned it and disappeared. I will pay for the Non inspection fee and arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this airport to your address by myself. But I will share it 30%/70% with you. Make sure Respond to me via my direct EMAIL: [redacted]

Below is my direct telephone number. Call me as soon as you receive this mail and send me all the requested information to my email.

David C. Lee

Anyway, I sent my SPAM phone number along to the guy and he eventually called. At first, he forgot to disguise his number, so it came up on my phone as coming from Nigeria. He quickly hung up and called back with a number from Texas. Here's the call:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Insure vs. Ensure

Perhaps I have become a bit of a curmudgeon in my advancing years, but it seems to me that, the older I get, the more annoyed I become by "official" communications with obvious grammatical errors. Far be it from me to criticize, considering the fact that this blog is almost certainly rife with such errors. However, I think a consumer facing business should be held to a higher standard. Take the sign below, for example. It's a classic misunderstanding of ensure vs insure.

What's The Difference Between Ensure And Insure?

Insure is used for referring to financial insurance policies.

Ensure is used when the meaning is "to make certain".

Sure, some style guides claim that ensure and insure are interchangeable,  but these are the same folks that claim that "literally" can be used in a non-literal,  figurative sense. And don't get me started on that one.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Review Of Pixels

Because of the less-than-stellar reviews (19% on Rotten Tomatoes), I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but, I actually liked Pixels. Now, I'm no Adam Sandler fanboy. I've loathed just about everything he has put out in the last five years. We saw it during our date night this weekend and, despite me dreading it, a lot of laughs were had in this movie.

Pixels is based off of a short film of the same name. The original short film is only about two minutes long, so a lot of filler had to be added in order to bring it up to feature length. Much of the filler seems to derive from an episode of Futurama where video game characters wage war on Earth. Throw in a contrived romance and add some Adam Sander-isms and you've got Pixels. And it's actually a decent movie.

Peter Dinklage's character, Eddie "Fireblaster" Plant, was hilarious. His jokes were not simply lame puns and one liners like Adam Sandler's character. Eddie provides us with situational comedy which is great to see in a Happy Madison film. Josh Gad's character is the perfect embodiment of all those conspiratards out there. He is the perfect neckbeard virgin character, and he steps away from the normal nerd character who solves math problems. Gad's karaoke scene was great and the love between Gad's character and Ashley Benson's character, Lady Lisa, is the embodiment of the neckbeard dream of ingame character love coming to life. I will say that the romance between Sandler and Monaghan felt forced. They don't have a lot of chemistry. Still, I appreciated Sander roping in the zaniness this time around

So, why have people been savaging this movie? The plot is formulaic, requires quite a few leaps in logic to work and has a number of subplots that are left unresolved at the end.  And there isn't exactly a lot of reverence paid to the arcade characters that they use in Pixels. I have heard a lot of people screaming in outrage about how Q*Bert shouldn't be able to speak English, but that didn't bother me. It's made very clear that he wasn't actually Q*Bert but an alien embodiment of him. What did bother me was the general lack of knowledge about the very games that Pixels pays tribute to. Pac-Man arcade cheat codes? Really? No mention of the Donkey Kong kill screen? Come on!

All in all, Pixels, despite its flaws, is actually a pretty funny movie and I was happy to have seen it. I might actually watch it again when it comes out on DVD. There. I said it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fashion Batteries

I was out with the family on Sunday and we popped into our local Dollar Tree to pick up some cheap necessities. While putzing around, I happened upon a pack of Fashion Batteries. Now, I'm generally not one to cheap out on batteries unless they're going into a device that I won't use heavily like a TV remote. Still, even at a $1 price point, I can't see why anyone would want to go with fashion batteries as if they're some sort of accessory to whatever device you plan to use them in. Unless you've got a clear device, nobody is going to see your fashion batteries. I guess they may look alright if you've lost the battery cover to your device, assuming you don't duct tape over them to keep them in place.

Fashion Batteries: A Fun Accessory For Your Device That Nobody Else Will Be Able To See!

Monday, July 20, 2015

I Saw Whitesnake Over The Weekend

On Friday, I headed out to South Elgin, IL to see my brother and go to a Whitesnake concert at Vasa Park. Originally, the show was going to be held at the Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve in Geneva, but Kane County denied the organizers a permit. All told, Vasa Park handled the show pretty well. There was a bit of pain getting into the park and the lines for beer were way too long, but overall we had a good experience.

The first band up was supposed to be "The Answer", but, due to a brief rain, they weren't able to perform. Instead, Foghat kicked off the night. Foghat, of course, is best known for their hit "Slow Ride". I gotta say, despite Charlie Huhn's considerable talent, I was missing Lonesome Dave by that point in the show.

I was still in the beer line getting ready to shell out $8 for a 12oz cup of Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy when Whitesnake finally took the stage. David Coverdale has had issues with his voice in the past, but he sounded pretty solid. Coverdale was in true form and seemed to be having a great time. I especially appreciated his good humor regarding the bugs that kept dive bombing the stage throughout their set.

We left the show during Whitensake's encore, just to make sure we got out of Vesa Park at a decent hour. All things considered, it was a great show and the promoters did a pretty good job of pulling it all together.

David Coverdale still knows what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams.