10.03.2002

Very interesting, very interesting....

Have sequestered myself in the office, surrounded by plastic storage boxes and piles of little cars. My friends laughed at me when I bought these, they thought it was a folly. After going through the prices lists and having people email me frantically, wanting to know what price I would accept if I took the car off of EBay, I am wishing I would have bought 10 times as many! This is incredible. I have a set of cars, about 15 of them that I bought for about 3 bucks each. They typically sell on EBay for 15 - 20 bucks and one of them for about three times that! Damn! These little suckers have done way way WAY better than my stocks or mutual funds, sheesh.

I have had car collections for as long as I can remember. They started off with Corgi's and Matchbox cars when I was a kid, I had the HUGE Hot Wheels race track and carrying cases and the whole bit. I never really thought of them as collectible when I was a kid, hell, most of the good ones are probably still buried in the backyard somewhere in the underground bunkers my brother and my friends dug. And then there were the Tonka trucks, oh man, they were sooo cool. Some of those may still be in the attic of my folks house, pure gold up there.

I will never sell the really old cars I have. Most of those were gifts or have some kind of special meaning to them, just like most of the books I have and almost all of my firearms. I am sure, when I saunter off to the happy hunting grounds, (hopefully later than sooner), whoever is in charge of my estate will have a fun time going through all of the gizmos and jim-cracks I have collected over the years and maybe they will give the pile of ancient Matchbox cars to their kid so that they can bury them in their backyards.

Ok, back to the auction stuff, more later, maybe.
Found another great site via Kim du Toit's site, it is IMAO, I especially enjoyed this entry.
Just about bedtime and thought I would blog a bit and tell you about a really cool email I got today. I have always heard about the Nigerian Email scam but have never received one of those until today. Here it is for those of you not as lucky as I am....

FROM: KENNETH OSHODI
DIRECT TEL: 234-1-776 1459
TEL: 234-1-804 4830
TEL: 873- 7625 33730
FAX: 873- 7625 33731
EMAIL: koshodi37@netscape.net
ATTN:


"STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL"

WE ARE MEMBERS OF A SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROJECT
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM
CORPORATION (NNPC). THIS COMMITTEE IS PRINCIPALLY
CONCERNED WITH CONTRACT AWARDS AND APPROVAL. WITH OUR
POSITIONS, WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY SECURED FOR OURSELVES
THE SUM OF TWENTY-ONE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND
UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$21.5M). MY COLLEAGUES AND I
DURING THE COURSE OF OUR OFFICIAL ASSIGNMENT AWARDED
SERIES OF CONTRACTS TO FOREIGN FIRMS ON AGREED 5%
COMMISSION OR PROFIT ON THEIR CONTRACT SUM. HOWEVER
THE 5% COMMISSION WHICH AMOUNTED TO US$21.5M AFTER
AUDIT REPORT IS LEFT UNCLAIMED IN THE FLOATING ACCOUNT
OF MY COMPANY [NNPC]. THIS CONTRACT IN QUESTION WERE
FOR THE SUPPLY OF PETRO – CHEMICAL EQUIPMENT AND
COMPUTERS TO MY COMPANY THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL
PETROLEUM CORPORATION [NNPC] IN 1999. THE CONTRACTORS
HAVE EXECUTED THEIR PROJECT AS SPECIFIED IN THE
CONTRACT AGREEMENT AND WERE PAID ACCORDINGLY.

RECENTLY, THE NEW CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT STARTED PAYING
OFF ALL THE INDEBTED FOREIGN CONTRACTORS TO MY COMPANY
THAT EXECUTED CONTRACTS AS FAR BACK AS 1990 – 2002 IN
ORDER TO LAUNDER A GOOD IMAGE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT
BEFORE THE UNITED NATION. CONSEQUENT TO THIS
DEVELOPMENT, WE CONSIDER THIS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR
US TO CARRYOUT THE TRANSFER OF THESE FUNDS TO A SAFE
ACCOUNT OVERSEAS WHICH WE BELIEVE YOU WILL BE IN A
POSITION TO HELP US IN TRANSFERRING THESE FUNDS
[US$21.5M] INTO YOUR NOMINATED ACCOUNT.

IT HAS BEEN AGREED THAT THE OWNER OF THE ACCOUNT WILL
BE COMPENSATED WITH 20% OF THE REMITTED FUNDS, WHILE
WE KEEP 75%, AND 5% WILL BE SET ASIDE TO OFFSET
EXPENSES AND PAY THE NECESSARY TAXES. ALL MODALITIES
OF THIS TRANSACTION HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT AND ONCE
STARTED WILL NOT TAKE MORE THAN 10 WORKING DAYS, WITH
YOUR FULL SUPPORT. THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE.

IF THIS PROPOSAL SATISFIES YOU, PLEASE REACH US ONLY
BY FAX OR PHONE, FOR MORE INFORMATION. IT MIGHT BE
DIFFICULT TO GET THROUGH TO ME, BECAUSE OF POOR
TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEM HERE. PLEASE KEEP TRYING, YOU
WILL DEFINITELY GET THROUGH. IF YOU CANNOT GET THROUGH
USING THE FIRST TWO TELEPHONE NUMBERS ABOVE, THEN CALL
ME ON THIS SPECIAL NUMBER 873-762533730 OR SEND FAX ON
873-762533731.

YOURS FAITHFULLY,

KENNETH OSHODI.

NB: FOR CONFIDENTIAL REASONS AND DUE TO THE POOR
COMMUNICATION SYSTEM IN MY COUNTRY, MOST OFTEN FOREIGN
CALLS COULD BE DIVERTED TO THE WRONG PERSON. SO FOR
YOU TO BE VERY SURE YOU ARE RIGHTLY SPEAKING WITH ME,
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WHEN YOU CALL AND ASK FOR
ME, THE MOMENT I PICK UP THE PHONE, YOU SHOULD ASK ME
FOR THE "CODE WORD" AND MY ANSWER WOULD BE "GOODLUCK"
BEFORE WE PROCEED DISCUSSIONS, BUT IF I DO NOT SAY
"GOODLUCK", THAT MEANS YOU ARE NOT SPEAKING WITH ME
JUST DISCONNECT THE LINE AND CALL ME BACK TILL I GIVE
YOU THE CODE WORD.


Hard to believe that anyone could fall for this especially with the glaring "this is a scam" blinking lights and bad math.

Ok, with that I am off to slumber-ville.

10.02.2002

Wednesday, beautiful blue skies, crisp, crystal clear air and clear sunshine, about 50 degrees or so at the moment. They say that rain is going to moving in soon, but they have been saying that for a few days now and it has been gloriously beautiful.

Have been reading some various sites today regarding Iraq and the call to arms and the call for peace and I read something interesting that made me chuckle. It was in regards to the hawk vs. dove stereotypes that folks use to generalize people's views on the war. Ideally, doves are the peace loving kind, against war, opting for negotiation and the like. Well, it made me remember something that happened a month or two ago that I am not sure if I mentioned in my blog.

It was the day we returned from the trip to the Olympic Peninsula and camping at Deer Park. I made it to T's house first as he was taking the kids back across the Sound on a ferry to drop them off at their mom's place. T's wife S, her daughter and one of her friends were to meet me at the house and we would get things unloaded. So, I sat around on the porch, drank a pop, had some jerky and after about 30 minutes or so, they showed up.

S's daughter ran into the house and went to check on their pet doves (ominous foreboding music here) and came back to front of the house where we were unloading and said that something was wrong with one of the doves.

Let me back up here a little: About 1 month prior to the camping trip, T had made a dovecote for their patio - it was positioned up against the back side of the garage and faced the house and the patio. It was about 8 feet tall, 5 feet wide and about 2 feet deep, made from the wire frame of a garden arbor, chicken wire and interwoven larch branches. T had chuckled when he was asked to make this as he grew up in South Carolina and like me, thought doves were good for hunting and eating and thought that keeping them as pets was kind of a folly, but, what are you going to say to a wife and kid who want pet doves very very badly.

They bought two doves, theoretically a male and a female, made some roosts for them a food box and a watering station. T made a really nice open-style birdhouse that he placed about 3/4 of the way up off the ground,mounted to some larch cross pieces and the back side of the dovecote. The doves seemed to be pretty happy in there, and after a few weeks, lo and behold, there were two eggs! The theory of the male and female birds held out.

The birds took turns sitting on the eggs, performing an interesting ritual of head bobbing and cooing when changing places. I became familiar with their routine because this was about the same time we were putting the flagstone patio in. After a few more weeks, the eggs started hatching. One hatched about 4 days before the other and al of us knew that the second bird probably wasn't going to have much of a chance and well, he got booted out of the nest. Ever seen the movie "The Omen"? I remember saying that the bigger of the two chicks was going to be like Damien, the evil, soon-to-be-devil boy. If I only knew how right I was......

So, the chick grew up fast, amazingly so. After doing a little research on the net and catching a show on pigeons on the Discovery channel, I learned that they grow up abnormally fast so that they can avoid predation and also that both the mother and father pigeon provide what is called "Pigeon Milk" which is produced in the crop and is regurgitated and fed to the chicks.

Flash forward a few weeks and back to S's daughter saying something was wrong with one of the doves...

S comes and finds me and has a terrible look on her face, kind of like she just ate a bug and it getting ready to hurl and asks me to come check out the birds because something bad has happened.

I make it through the house and out to the patio and to the dovecote and there is the father pigeon, beaten to a pulp, laying on the ground with one of his eyes pecked out and his entire back between his wings is missing, gone, and he is still alive but just barely. It is totally baffling to us. Did a cat or a snake get into the cage and do this? There are feathers all over the inside of the cage on the ground and some of the vegetation is beaten down visibly like there was a struggle.

The mother and young chick sat with their blinking, evil little pigeon eyes, watching us as we tried to see if the father pigeon was hurt very badly and as we went to get him out of the cage, he died. I remember hearing a little 'cooo cooo' out of one of the birds at that moment.

Now, what the hell happened? Did the momma bird freak out on dad and kill him? Was the dad bird trying to get the chick and kill him? Was it even his child? Animals can tell and as we have all learned watching the Discover channel, male lions will eat the young of the female lions in his pride if they aren't his. Is this what had happened? Did he make a move for the young one and the momma put the smack-down on him? Or.....

Was the young dove evil? Did he boot his own sibling out of the nest so that he could get all of the attention and all of the food? I think he did. Was there some kind of Oedipal complex thing going on? Was the young bird old enough to breed and saw the other male bird as competition and take him out in a fit of jealousy? Yeah, I know, I am being anthropomorphic, but I am telling you, I think that little bid was capital-e Evil.

So now, of course, when I hear about Hawks and Doves as applied to the current state of affairs in our country and to others around the world, peace-lovers and war-mongers, it sure makes me think about that little evil Damien dove and the hell that he has wrought.....

10.01.2002

So, I need say a few things about the state of politics at the moment in this country.

We've got Larry, Mo and Shemp over in Baghdad second guessing the opinion of the Bush Administration and most of America to appease their liberal constituents. I am all for them representing the will of their constituency, but not when it endangers the fragile policy and negotiation process that is going on at the moment between the US and the rest of the world. Unsurprisingly, some of McDermott's constituents are weighing in on talk radio here in Western Washington and it is not looking good for Shemp.

Now, I couldn't really give a hoot about New Jersey, except for the potential to sway the majority in the Senate. I am inundated, like we all are, by all the hoopla on the news regarding the withdrawal of Toricelli and the hand wringing by the New Jersey Democrats and their attempt to bend the laws governing elections in their state. What is basically comes down to is that their man was stinking the joint up and they want to change horses, not just halfway through the race, but down the homestretch with about 100 yards to go. This is such complete bullshit and I can't believe that the citizens of New Jersey are going to stand for it. I watch these dingdongs on the news and their ability to keep a straight face while spewing this horse crap out of their mouths, saying the election laws are just a "technical nicety" and that the most important thing is to offer the voters a choice in this election. Good grief.

I just want to see someone take responsibility for their actions on SOMETHING, just one goddamn thing. I am tired of seeing stories like this kid who is possibly going to sue his gym teacher because the gym teacher caught him smoking and made him make a decision: eat the cigarette or go to the office. The kid ate the cigarette and now he is on MSNBC.

When I was in high school, I got caught taking a pinch of Copenhagen between classes by my biology teacher so he made me eat it, which I did rather than go to the office. The teacher was Mr. Ivan Slaughter and he had been there for years and years, he had actually taught my mother when she was in high school. I was soooo embarrassed by that episode. I was ashamed that a man I really respected saw me doing that against school policy so I took my lumps, swallowed it down and dealt with my sore stomach. In fact, this is the first time that my parents have probably ever even heard this story!! Now, this kid eats a cigarette and makes the national news!! And you know, not once during the interview did the reporter ask his mom if she thought that what her son did was a bad thing. It was all about the teacher and the school district and how they expect an apology, blah blah blah.

And then there is the group of kids in Milwaukee who beat a man to death. Ages 10 -18. I know how to prevent this from happening again: Take Rachel's advice. Punish the parents, but I will bet you dollars to donuts that 15 out of the 20 kids don't have two parent households, but whichever one is around should be fixed/spayed/neutered. Neuter the kids too. I don't give one flying hooey about these kids and no one else should either, this is one of those cases where someone just needs to grit their teeth like the father in "Old Yeller" and do what needs to be done, no matter how sad it is. They KILLED A MAN. Can they be reformed? Will a surrogate father or mother in their life make one damned difference? It might have a few years ago but I think it is too damn late for them and yeah, that is sad, but that is too damned bad. Someone needs to stand up to the ding-dongs that are going to argue that their environment or lack of parental control or the school district or sugary drinks or the creamy filling in Twinkies or whatever is responsible for this.

Bullshit. They should be shipped off immediately to Alaska and put to work on a fishing boat or better yet, treat them as adults and send them to the Wisconsin State Penitentiary and see how they like that. There is mention in the news story that it might have been self defense - whatever - 20 vs. 1 - sounds like they were in a lot of danger. What pisses me off even more are the 'eye witness' accounts by neighbors who didn't do anything to help. There was one fellow mentioned in the article who tried to help but was overwhelmed. I say a Remington 870 Express would have helped assuage the overwhelming feeling.

On a lighter note: I am McBlogger's First Blog Of The Week!!! So, from one bald guy to another, thank you. In several of his recent entries, he had a few problems with the phone company and I will post my phone company rant soon. It is amazing that any of these companies are still in business.

Ok, until next time, g'night.

Oh my God,this is fricking GREAT!!!

Found this site via link on Mark's site. You can actually turn on and off the lights in this guys house, change the music he is listening to and other fun fun fun things! Looks like he is at work at the moment but I will tune in later and see what this site really can do!!! The internet is AWESOME!

Update: It REALLY DOES work! I was turning off and on a light in the background! This is so cool. What a great idea!
All I want to say right now is this:

Rachel Lucas on kids

Rachel Lucas and others on guns

Rachel Lucas on Al Bore

Rachel Lucas on Barbra...

Well, you get the idea. I keep reading and re-reading her stuff, following her links around the blogosphere, have discovered Kim du Toit's feelings on the UN Gun Grab, and he links back to Suman Palit's Kolkatna Libertarian Blog, that was one of the first blogs I was told I should read by my Mom, check the rest of his site out here . Kim and Rachel must be my long lost brother and sister! Mom, Dad, is there something you aren't telling me?????

Update: More cool stuff from Kim's site - Gratuitous Gun Pics :-)

9.30.2002

Monday - ugh

Have had an ok day so far. Retrieved rest of storage unit stuff and got a couple more applications sent off for jobs. Oooh, this is good news: a buddy of mine had a bed in storage that he gave to me and we wedged it into the loft last night and man oh man, I haven't slept that good in a long time!

Granny always gave me a hard time for sleeping on a futon. When I first moved to Washington from Missouri, I had to be efficient on the $$ so I bought a futon-couch. It had a great mattress and was awesome to sleep on, but, well, you know, it was also the couch. Later on, I bought a bed-frame made for a futon and a really nice mattress and that worked out well for a few years. Then, I let my ex keep that because I was just going to put it in storage anyhow, so she might as well use it, and well, I really didn't want it anymore anyhow. Then, the next futon was actually in the combo office/bedroom at the Bro's house, which is funny because it is one of the futons I gave him 4 or 5 years ago. So, that sucker has come full circle. I think one of K's daughters is using it now. Soo, (this is going on longer than I thought it would) when the bro moved out, I didn't have a bed, so I was using a camp mattress for a bit until I could go buy a bed, but that sucker was killing my back, so my buddy said that I could have his mattress. It has been in storage too and he and his wife have a new mattress and this one is also just like new. So, Granny is right. I should have gotten a real mattress and box a long time ago, this was like sleeping on a cloud last night.

I can't believe there is that much to say about a mattress. Maybe in 10 years I can look back at this post and chuckle and wonder why I was such an idiot.

Speaking of idiots: Jim McDermott is unfortunately from Washington state and I want to make sure that my folks or anyone else reading this doesn't think that everyone out here is like that jackass. His district is downtown Seattle and the University of Washington campus area, so he is a super duper left-left liberal.

Not too much else going on. Getting some action on my ebay auctions and am posting some more stuff tonight. Gotta pay that rent!! Ok, I'm outta here, got to make the rounds on the blog sites and check the news, X-Files marathon on the FX channel today so it has been going since Noon. Bye.

Jas

9.29.2002

OK, this is SUPER WEIRD:

Yesterday I was lamenting the fact that I have some friends I have lost touch with and today I got an email from a reader - Mark from McBlogger (another cool blog) suggesting that I could use Google to search for these folks. Well, I did that and just a few minutes ago, I get an email in Hotmail that says it is from this particular person I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR! The body of the email is a bunch of gobble-dee-gook and email headers and stuff like that but what the hell??!!! Does Google track names like that, (people that use their tool to find other people - searchers and searchees), and sell the info to email marketing firms? All it said in the subject line was: are you jason_2001@hotmail.com?? This is very very very strange.
Chiefs vs Dolphins game was AWESOME! That was the first time I have been able to watch the Chiefs this year, listened to them once before, but it sure was nice to see the stadium and all of the red shirts, jerseys, coats, hats, etc. They looked pretty damn impressive!

Not too much happening. EByaing some more things: some books I found while moving and some other things, getting ready to go through all of the baseball cards and other "collectible" crap I have. I even found a Thompson Sub-machine gun lighter that I bought somewhere years ago - well, no, I got it last year about this time out at Ocean Shores, it's all coming back to me now. Damn, that was a year ago.

Ok, I need to go and do a little grocery shopping and run some other errands, hope everybody is doing great out there!!

Jas

PS. My cable connection is back up to par, they must have been doing some maintenance on their servers or something during the past few days.