Linux & Windows 7

Wow, is slow. I assumed before that it was because it was the only site that I still had running on But I switched it to a new server a week or two ago and it’s still slow. Must be a WordPress issue or something.

I’ve been up to a lot lately. So much that I haven’t really written much. Most of it’s all revolved around Evie. We went to Bend for a weekend and I’ve been hanging out in Portland a lot lately. Went to the coast a few weeks ago. Took the kids to Wunderland in Portland, which was much cooler than the one in Salem. It’s been a month now since I’ve written much in here, aside from silly Ebay happenings. A lot has happened. But who cares about all that. Instead I’ll write about Linux!

I’ve been wanting to attempt a transition to Linux for years now. It seems like I try every 1 or 2 years for the past 10 years, but there’s always something keeping me from using it 24/7. When I bought this laptop in 2007, I actually had them ship it with Ubuntu on it, which I turned into a dual-boot, which I eventually just wiped Linux off of. This past weekend, I made more of an effort than usual, but I think it’s going to end up being another failed attempt.

It’s not that I have troubles adapting to it. I’ve used it off and on for years now. I like Linux and wish I could completely ditch Windows for it. The problem is the software. Looking at the selection of software for linux is like time traveling back to the 1980’s. Remember those old ads for Commodore 64 and Tandy computers where they’re like, “You can manage all your finances on your new home computer! The kids can play games and do their homework on our word processing software!” It’s kind of like that. You would never dare balance your checkbook on a TRS-80. Everything for linux is in beta or on version 1. You look at the revision lists and they say things like “Version 1.18 has 500 bug fixes!” which makes you think, “Holy crap, their software was THAT terrible just a tenth of a version ago?”

Well okay, fine, Open Office is pretty nice and wasn’t really around last time I gave this a try. But I NEED invoicing software and I can’t do without it. Currently I use Quickbooks for Windows. Guess what the big invoicing software package for Linux is called. Business Accountz. Yes, with a Z. It’s like some retarded junior high kid named it. I’m supposed to trust my business to a software package that can’t even spell right. I could overlook that if the program didn’t completely suck, but it does. I’ve spent hours looking for alternatives, but there doesn’t seem to be any. I could use Quickbooks via the web for $10/month. But that just means I’m paying $120/year for Linux.

The latest iTunes doesn’t work yet under Wine. And I can’t seem to get Evolution to sync to Google so that I can sync that with my iPhone instead. Even if I could, it’s not going to sync my notes which are very important to me to have both on the computer and on my iPhone. All these issues just lead me to wonder why I should even bother changing when Windows does everything flawlessly. It’d make more sense to switch to a Mac. Or just stay with Windows. I’m going to keep working on things and see if I can come up with acceptable compromises, but I don’t have my hopes up too much.

On the upside of all my playing around with my laptop this past week, issues with dual-booting forced me to upgrade my 10-year-old Windows XP OS to Windows 7. And wow, Windows 7 kicks ass. I’ve been using it for a week now and it’s great. So many issues have been addressed. Thanks, Linux, for helping me to discover the latest version of Windows!

In other breaking news…I’m downloading the entire Black Sabbath discography. That might be fun to listen to, but I predict that I’ll get sick of them after a couple of hours. Also, Kick Ass comes out this week. I can’t wait. I’m gonna see it at least twice – once with Jessica and once with the kids. It’s going to be the most amazing movie since Mystery Team. I’m also attempting to watch the entire 7 seasons of Star Trek TNG. I’m 19 episodes into season 1 now.

Service Merchandise

Does that store still exist? I don’t think I’ve seen one since the 90’s. As a kid, it was my favorite store to have my parents take me to because they had several computer terminals set up around the store for customer use. They were very 80’s-looking machines with green or amber lettering on a black screen. Just aimlessly playing around on them was fun enough. But the really cool thing I could do was order merchandise on them which would be shipped to the exit/pick-up area of the store. Anything in the store could be sent down a conveyor belt for us to pick up.

I started small, but quickly advanced to having huge things like couches and refrigerators and other huge appliances sent over. As my mom and I stood in line, waiting for our turn to check out, I was in silent hysterics as I surveyed all the items sitting behind the counter waiting for pick up that I was responsible for. Sometimes I would have so many huge items sent that walking space behind the counter would be scarce for the employees. If I ordered 5 couches, they would almost always sent out 5 couches.

The other awesome part of this was that they would eventually page the names I used over the store intercom. I started out using random character names from books that I liked. Hearing them say “Harriet Tubman, your order is ready in the pick up area.” was hilarious enough. But soon I started making up wacky names for them to say. I went through a phase of using names of illnesses so that they would end up paging Mrs. Amneisia or Mr. Cancer to the pick up area. Then I just started putting nonsense into the fields. I remember one I wrote was Mrs. Teetertotter, which caused a lady to announce over the store’s paging system that a child was playing with the computer terminals and that employees should be on the lookout for them.

I got to relive some childhood memories in 1992 when me and Sylvia lived in Los Angeles and were walking around and found a Service Merchandise. I was happy to see that they still had the computer terminal system in place, so we placed several orders for the largest items we could find. I remember a getting a complete living room set and some large kitchen appliances, such as a fridge and a stove. Their pick up area was much smaller than the old one in St. Louis, so the employees were pretty cramped back there, waiting for customers to come and get their giant items.

I saw my last Service Merchandise in 1994 in Austin, Texas. Their computer terminals there were slightly updated and had credit card readers on them. I taped some strips of cassette tape around my drivers license and tried sliding it through the reader, hoping that it would cause an error and let me enter one of my hundreds of stolen credit card numbers manually. I don’t know why I thought that would work, but at least I tried. Soon after that, I used a stolen money order at that same store to purchase a police scanner. It was in the days when you could buy unblocked 800/900MHz scanners, which I used for years afterwards for all kinds of phone fun, including the Dino incident that happened a year later.

Ahhh, good times with Service Merchandise…

Dumb Ebay Question

I was selling a hard drive on Ebay yesterday and a guy asks me this question:

Should I purchase this harddrive, can I trust that you’d ship it in a protective manner at to not let it get damaged should someone drop the package?

I replied back with this:

I don’t plan to package the drive at all. Instead I’m just going to write your name and address on it with a sharpie and put a stamp right on the drive. I’ll probably throw it into the mail slot at the post office from across the room, yelling “SCORE!” as it goes in. Once you receive the drive I will leave you scathing feedback that will hurt your feelings.

I set it as a public question/answer so all potential buyers could see it. Somehow I still sold the drive. He replied back with, “Thank you for your honesty.” I love eBay.

Deer Pin Ebay guy

A few weeks ago I was selling some Illinois deer pins on Ebay. Apparently hunters get these pins whenever they shoot a deer. A guy ordered some from me, then emailed me a week later because he didn’t like them. Here is our email exchange that lasted several days.

From Douglas Frank:
Hey Brad these pins that I bought are these issued by Illinois deer harvest or did someone make this up to look like the original pins these are much smaller if so i would like to send these back for a refund let me know please thanks Doug

From Brad Carter:
Hi Doug. Yes, those are replicas. It was stated very clearly in the auction that they were replicas. The first thing written in the auction was this:

“This auction is for REPLICAS of the 4 Deer Harvest pinback buttons
that you see in the picture. They are each approximately 1″ in
diameter. The original deer harvest buttons are 1.5″, I believe. So
there is a small difference between the sizes of my replicas and the
originals. Please keep this in mind when bidding.”

Also, the auction listing details showed that returns are not accepted. This was written right below the price and shipping cost.

From Douglas Frank:
sounds like your willing to lose a future customer for 10.00 dollars or are willing to work with me I guess buyer beware with you

From Brad Carter:
Buyer beware? What have I done wrong? The items and the return policy were exactly as described.

From Douglas Frank:
I got just the answer I thought I was going to get have a nice day.

From Brad Carter:
Good luck learning to read auctions descriptions before you buy things. Sorry you don’t know how to shoot a deer and have to resort to buying replica pins on the internet. :)

From Douglas Frank:
Good luck with your pins ive filed a complaint with Ebay and thanks for you last comment because they asked me to forword all trans actions to them . By the way I wasnt old enough in 78 to hunt bunt since I became old enough I know I have shot bigger deer in my life then you will ever shoot thanks for showing me that you sound like your still in middle school with your adult comments good luck with Ebay……………

From Brad Carter:
A complaint about an auction where I sold you exactly what was described and followed the return policy. Makes perfect sense and I’m sure they’ll take you seriously. You should spend less time shooting deer and more time learning to read auction descriptions before you blow $10 on worthless crap. Please forward this email for me too, sexy.

From Douglas Frank:
your Id phoneloser fits you perfect for selling worthless crap on ebay and i wont stoop to your level because I am not your type I like woman not men(sexy) in tour comments

From Brad Carter:
Your spelling and punctuation skills are atrocious. The more you email me the more I can understand why you were unable to comprehend the simple few lines of my item description. From now on, get a friend or family member to read auctions to you before bidding. I might refund your $10 only if you’ll promise me that you’ll put the money towards classes at your community college and not towards chewing tobacco or Nascar memorabilia.

Yours heterosexually,

From Douglas Frank:
Brad you must be a teacher , so are willing to settle this like a gentleman. I will be glad to send these pins back to you asap and I will quit buying chew.but you may want to look in your own closet see (subject) pins not pinsed so back to school for both of us so whats your decisions

(This is weird, because the original subject line was “pins” but then HE changed it to “pinsed” several emails ago and is now trying to blame me on that misspelling.)

From Brad Carter:
I was going to, but then you made fun of me, so no. I’m off to cry in my pillow now. I’ll probably lose sleep tonight, knowing that Ebay will surely shut off my account for following their policies so well. You win this round, buyer!

From Douglas Frank:
I had already new your answer was no because theres men and then theres boys in this world and with boys that still cry on there pillows there mommy still wipes there a– to, just this email was worth the 10.00 to me good luck selling worthless crap hope you raise your children to treat people in life then you do !

From Brad Carter:
You should have already “new” my answer when you read the item description. It would have saved you a lot of time. So now you’re pretending that you’re bigger than me by just dropping it when before you were pretending that you’re reporting me to Ebay. Wonder what you’ll pretend to do next. I bet you’ll pretend to shoot deer by showing off your cheap knockoff buttons to your friends.

From Douglas Frank:
So mature ,I bet your wife likes it when talk stupid in your own little pretend world so have a nice life .I think we became freinds if Im ever in Or ill be sure to look you up.

From Brad Carter:
I think it’s hilarious that you’re trying so hard now to capitalize/punctuate/spell correctly just to impress me and you’re still failing at it.


That was the end of it as of a couple weeks ago. But I just emailed him again with this: “Hey Douglas! Remember that time you vowed to get my Ebay account shut down, but then it never happened? Those were good times.”

If he starts replying again, I’ll append our emails here.

March 13th, 2010 UPDATE: He replied back! Here’s his response:

From Douglas Frank:
May are paths never cross because you will lose and thats one promise I will keep so when you visit Chicago write me be glad to meet with you.

From Brad Carter:
You’re going to beat me up? I hope you do it yourself, unlike the way you pretend that you know how to shoot deer. You’ll probably get someone else to beat me up for you, then tell everyone that you did it. Like you do with deer killing.

Geostalking, Windshields, Flash mobs, Karaoke…

I think it was Thursday 2 weeks ago that I decided to help out the people trying to sell their cars on the side of the road by writing catchy slogans on their windshields. They like to park them on a busy highway next to my house with FOR SALE signs on them.


I can only assume my first attempt at helping out worked, because the car was gone about 24 hours later. It might have had something to do with the cops ticketing their cars too since apparently it’s illegal to park your car there. People do it all the time, though, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more opportunities to try and help out.

I think Thursday might have been the same night that I came up with the brilliant idea of stalking Foursquare users. Foursquare is a service that lets you use your cell phone to “check in” everywhere you go. It annoys your friends on Twitter and Facebook by posting your check in updates. Like “LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY, I JUST ARRIVED AT ROY’S TAVERN!” I tried it out since I’m addicted to social networking sites and my first thought was, “Wow, this is stupid to check into places because the type of people I know are the type of people to call these businesses and have them page me.” It’s happened to me plenty of times before, long before Foursquare existed.

So I started calling up places around the country that people check in to and having the Foursquare users paged so I could say silly things to them. I recorded the calls and they can be heard at My favorites are I’m From The Future and Red Cross Telemarketing. There’s now a board on the PLA Forums dedicated to calling up Foursquare users. Several bloggers have written giant, complainy posts about my calls, one of them vowing to shut down the PLA forever. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

I went to Chasers later to tell Jessica and Anne about all my craziness that night. I still had the window paint in my pocket, so I ended up writing on a few more car windows as we left. The van outside the bar got FOUR SAIL on it.

FRIDAY we went to Geeky Karaoke in Portland again. This time it was me, Jessica and Kelsie. Me and Jessica started drawing on each other and soon the half the tables were drawing all over each other. Here’s the Facebook album. We sang My Own Worst Enemy and Don’t Stop Believin’. Both times we were introduced as Roy Gerbil and The Atlantas. On the drive home we kept stopping and writing on car windows. We wrote random, crazy things and then we wrote FOR SALE on a few along with my phone number, hoping the angry owners would call and yell at me for trying to sell their car. Turns out I can’t remember my phone number when I’m drunk though, so we accidentally put someone else’s number on them.

Saturday the kids and I went biking/geocaching. We went about 5 miles and found 3 or 4 geocaches. I think Sunday we hung around the house all day. Looks like awesome weather tomorrow so we’ll probably do some more of that.

Somewhere in between all this, the kids and I went to see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at Corvallis’ Darkside movie theater. It was our first time visiting that place. A very cool and bizarre independent theater. And the movie was nuts.

This past weekend, Angela and I went to some weird photography event in Salem. About 60 people showed up and our orders were to walk all over downtown Salem and take as many pictures as possible. We only took a few before quitting and just browsing random stores, geocaching and eating in a downtown bar. Then we went to a film festival at Northern Lights. It was like paying $3.00 each to watch YouTube videos. I’m not complaining, because we had a good time there, but the movies were pretty bad. They were fun to make fun of though.

On Tuesday, Evilgold and Evie visited me. They were passing through Albany on their way to Portland from California and timed it so they could do The Phone Show with me. That was a lot of fun. Apparently they stole my porch light before they left.

Evil and Evie

On Wednesday I met Cecelia and we went to Salem for a flash mob, but we were late and didn’t make it to the mob. Missed it by about 10 minutes. It was a pretty lame flash mob, though, involving about 100 people singing Singing In The Rain. It wasn’t even raining. Salem was more active than I’d ever seen it before – I guess it’s an event they do every week or month. We did a little downtown geocaching, had some food and just walked around a lot. I checked into the bar we went to on Foursquare, just to see if anyone from the PLA would call me. Apparently someone tried, but they we’d already left.

Tonight should be fun. I’m going to 2600 in Portland. Evilgold and Evie will be there. A guy who calls The Phone Show a lot will also be there, since I owe him some buttons and stickers from the game show he won. After 2600, we’re going to attempt to do some Foursquare stalking in person. Surbo and me came up with an idea to turn this into a game, where we drive to a place that a person checks into, find the person and confirm with them that they’re the Foursquare user. Kind of a combination of Foursquare and Geocaching. I’m not sure if people will like being found or if I’ll get punched in the face a lot, but I’m sure it’ll be a great time either way.

Ke7in Drama

Back in 1996, my girlfriend and I moved to Albany, Oregon for about a year. I hadn’t discovered internets yet, so my primary nerd hangout was still BBSes. (Computers that nerds set up in their homes for other nerds to call in to.) After arriving in Albany, I immediately started calling up local BBSes and hanging out on them, posting messages, playing games, etc. One BBS, called Different World, had an odd theme to it. The theme was 7-Eleven. The guy that ran it seemed to work there, since there were references to a particular 7-Eleven in Albany.

A year or two back, I’d written a text file explaining ways of pissing off 7-Eleven employees for the PLA zine (You can view it here.) and I thought the sysop (his name was Kevin) might enjoy it. After all, I wrote it mostly while working in a 7-Eleven in and it started out as a list of things customers did to piss me off. Then I started writing about things customers could do to piss me off. Then I just started making up crazy stuff near the end. So I uploaded the text file to Kevin’s BBS. He didn’t like it. In fact, he deleted my account on the BBS and he called the police. He took the text file as a personal threat against him. I think it was a few days later that the police called me to ask me about it. They told me to leave Kevin alone and as far as I can remember, I did.

Soon after that we started getting hang up calls at our house. Usually just one a day. Sometimes I would answer and sometimes Colleen. They always hung up. At first we ignored it, but it kept happening every day, so we checked the caller ID and it was a local number. I tried calling it back, but didn’t get an answer. I don’t think our caller ID box displayed the name of the caller, so I called up the phone company and got them to tell me the name belonging to that number. It was Kevin! It’d been a week or two since the BBS thing happened and I wasn’t bothering him, but for some reason he was calling up my house every day.

So this was bizarre. We didn’t know why Kevin would be doing this. It turned out that he was married, so it might have been his wife and not him. He later claimed that he’d never called our house before, so it could have been her too. This was back in PLA’s prime, and I loved bizarre phone-related drama like this, so I was excited to find out that these hang up calls were an attempt to harass me since that gave me a great reason to retaliate. Later that evening, I gave Kevin a call and talked to him. I dialed him after diverting through AT&T, using a stolen credit card number so he wouldn’t get my caller ID. I don’t remember what all we said, but I remember lots of disagreeing happening. He denied the hangup calls and so did his wife. And he actually asked how I could be calling from a local number and not have my number show up on his caller ID display.

Originally I figured he hadn’t even heard of caller ID (it was sort of new at the time) and that’s why they wouldn’t bother blocking their number when they called. But he clearly knew what it was. We theorized that maybe they were hoping to get us to call them back a lot so they could *57 (trace) us and get us in trouble with the police. That’s probably a stupid theory, but who knows what these people were thinking.

I honestly don’t remember what all I did to Kevin and his wife since it all happened 14 years ago. I do remember one afternoon, I was sitting out on the porch and a couple of girls came up the sidewalk and asked if I was Alex. I said yeah and one of them told me she was Kevin’s wife and wanted to know what my problem was. I don’t remember exactly how that conversation went either, but they left peacefully. Whatever I was doing to them caused her to come and visit me in person, though, so that’s saying something about the effectiveness of my harassment.

Another time I was working at Target and Kevin’s wife happened to come into my checkout lane. I didn’t recognize her until she wrote and check and I read the name on the check. I said hi and we chatted for a minute and were friendly to each other. Then after she walked away, I wrote down all the personal information from her check, figuring I could do something horrible with it. I never got around to it though. (I’m not just saying that to protect the guilty, I really didn’t!)

I’m sure I must have been harassing them in some way throughout our stay in Albany, though, because I remember that during the time of our trip from Oregon to Ohio, they flooded my homepage’s guestbook a lot. Also Kevin’s wife called me in Ohio once and yelled at me for something. I’m sure it all ended soon after that, though, because I haven’t thought about either of them at all since we left Ohio. Whatever, details are sketchy.

This brings me up to the reason I’m writing this. This morning on Facebook, my feed tells me that my friend Jessica and Kevin are now Facebook friends. I wonder if it could possibly be the Kevin I once knew. So I clicked on his profile and sure enough it’s him. In fact, I’m surprised to see that he’s still working at 7-Eleven – the one just a couple of blocks from my house that I go to just about every day. Jessica told me that she worked with Kevin and his wife briefly at an Albany event. So I LOL’ed a lot as I told her my story of Kevin.

After looking at the photos on Kevin’s Facebook page, I realized that I’d actually seen him a few times there and he even rang me up once a few months ago. He kept screwing up on the register and apologizing to me, saying he wasn’t used to being on the register these days. I smiled and said it was no problem, that I wasn’t in a hurry. I wonder now if I was wearing a PLA shirt that day. That was my first time ever meeting Kevin, so I doubt he recognized me. I’ll have to say hi to him next time I see him and maybe we can reminesce together.

And here’s where it all comes full circle. Last year Spessa and I had the great idea of turning that old issue of PLA into a video by actually performing the things on the list that pissed off Kevin so much. So we did, and one of the items were done in Kevin’s store. Not by me, but by Mr. Spessa. (I’m only mentioning this so that when Kevin reads this, he’ll be less likely to try and ban me from the premises.) So it’s possible that Kevin actually had to mop up after our shenanigans. Sorry, Kevin

I’m going to pretend that each day Kevin goes to work and sees the new Red Box machine on the sidewalk and it reminds him of his old nemesis RedBoxChiliPepper.

Little Boxes

Every house or apartment you go into is the same. The living room has a TV with several pieces of furniture pointed at it. The TV might have a few components hooked up to it or maybe a video game system. There’s a shelf packed full of DVDs. Sometimes there’s another shelf packed with CDs or books. The dining room table with something in the center of it. Maybe a fish tank or a bird cage or a litter box. An exercise machine, microwave, piano, computer. Maybe something weird on a wall somewhere to help define that person, like a few swords or a bizarre painting or, in my case, a pay phone. Pictures of families on the walls, maybe some posters. The patios and yards are all pretty much the same too, with their BBQ grills and outdoor furniture and maybe a few kids toys and some fake bamboo tiki torches.

Rich or poor, every living space in America is nearly identical. Probably in every other country too, just with subtle changes, like up in Canada all this stuff is in their igloos. Even those movie stars and musicians on MTV Cribs all live in identical places, and they have the money to do anything they want. Sure, they’ve got pools and mixing booths and giant garages for their exotic car collections, but aside from that there’s really not much difference. Seems like someone could come up with a radically different way to live by now.

Red Box

This week 7-Eleven put a Red Box movie rental machine in front of their store. I bet the other 7-Elevens did too. Those things are popping up everywhere now and I can think of at least 6 places we have them just in our town now. Knowing how completely screwed brick & mortar video rental stores are makes me happy for some reason. I can’t explain it. I just love for old business models to be completely screwed over in favor of new ones. They just closed down the Blockbuster is Corvallis and the Hollywood Video in Salem. I think I read that each company is closing around 1/3rd of their US locations over the next year. Good riddance! Physical media is dumb anyway.

I’m cheering for the death of music stores, newspapers and the post office too. I would love for the entire postal system to just crumble, leaving us all without U.S. mail. UPS and FedEx would figure out ways to take over for us since they actually know how to run a business. I think it’s hilarious that magazines are clinging on for deal life, hoping that the Kindle and iPad will save their outdated print formats when we all just read blogs everyday instead of month-old magazines. Die, corporate scum! And welcome, new corporate scum, good to have you here!

Spessa gave me a new digital camera yesterday and I’m taking it apart right now to clean it. It was a mess. She got it used from somebody. I’m glad not to be cameraless anymore. Thanks, Spessa!

Roxy started up a new website called and she stupidly trusts me with full access to the admin functions there. I changed the site’s theme and made a header for it and even posted an article on it. I’m going to build up her trust for awhile, then suddenly wipe out her site and replace it with goatse or tub girl. She’ll never see it coming. Until then, everyone reading this should go read the stories at Because they’re amusing.

The kids and I have been playing the new Super Mario for Wii nonstop for weeks now. I got it for them for Christmas. I’ve always kind of resented owning a Wii, thinking it was pointless and a waste of money. I got it for free a few years ago and I was originally just going to sell it on Ebay for money, but a friend convinced me to keep it. It’s free, so good deal, right? Not really. I’ve blown so much money on extra Wiimotes and games and Wii Points and other accessories. And the games are rarely that great. I look at all the stuff we have for it and think how it could have been better spent on our Xbox 360. Not that I even play any games without the kids, so why should I care. Anyway, Super Mario for Wii has given me a change of heart. I love that game and we’ve had a lot of fun beating it and we’re still having fun, doing extra stuff on all the levels now.

Remember a few posts back I ranted about how much I loved Yelp? I still love them, but they deleted my review of Target. Check out this letter I got from them.

Hi Arbie,

We’re writing to let you know about our decision to remove your review of Target. Your review was flagged by the Yelp community, and our Support team has determined that it falls outside our Review Guidelines ( because it is largely irrelevant, specifically it does not address the core of your experience as a customer. Reviews aren’t the place for rants about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, or other matters that don’t address the core of the normal customer experience.

We hope you will continue to provide great reviews, while keeping in mind our Review Guidelines. See you on Yelp!

I knew that would happen. At least they kept up my review where I talked about hitting on the 16-year-old girl at Arby’s. I pasted the Target review they deleted to Roxy’s new site.

Alot’s happened in the past couple weeks. A spelled “a lot” like that just to annoy Spessa. I post all my crap on Facebook now. I remember last weekend the kids and I went bowling. Then we went to Jessica’s to eat her food. Work has been busy lately so I’m really behind on all my important blog reading. I’m going to paste stuff from Facebook now.

I got this email from someone and I thought it was kind of cool: “Hi Brad, I was wondering if you could do me a favor. My fiance passed a little over a year ago and she left our voice mail greeting. I would like to know if you could send me a recoding in WAV and MP3 format if possible. I would appreciate this very much. The number is 856-….”

So I hacked into his voicemail and deleted her greeting. Then I sent him an mp3 of a chimpanzee screeching. Okay, just kidding, I sent him an mp3 file of her voice. I even put the mp3 in an editor and brought up the voice levels for him. He wrote me back: “”They are perfect; thank you very much. I do not have any real skills with the exception of financial analysis but if you need that or anything done in the South Jersey area I owe you one.”

Even better is this email that I got a few days before that one. “Brad – I told my friends about your food coloring prank an before school we booby trapped the phone an railings, an we were calling the pay phone luckly enough people curiously picked it up an not to many people were happy with blue food coloring on there spirt week costumes thanks for posting that!” He’s referring to my old food coloring prank from high school, which you can read about on this page. I’m so proud that my shenanigans from 20 years ago are ruining kids clothing still today.

The same guy sent me a video of another prank from that page where he replicated the prank where I put a note on a classroom door, telling students to meet for class in another room. Only he actually videotaped the class hanging out in an empty auditorium, waiting for the teacher. Here is the video of it.


In my last update, I said that I was watching season 1 of Lost and probably wouldn’t continue any further because I didn’t have time for it. As I write this, I’m currently watching the 2nd to last episode in season 5. I’ve accomplished very little in the past couple of weeks because of my nonstop Lost watching. It’s been fun, but I’m glad it’s nearly over. I’ll probably start watching season 6 on Hulu each week as it comes out. At least 1 hour of TV per week won’t waste much of my time.

Not many interesting things have happened to me yet this decade. Last week, Snopes disproved my fake ATM stickers. Here’s the link to it. I think it’s great that someone was worried about it. They posted a picture of one they found with the message, “This is so scary. If true, it may be a warning sign about freedom in America.” I bet they’re disappointed that the sticker is fake since it means they can’t be upset at the government. As a result, has been getting a lot of new subscribers and comments.

Last night Jessica and I drove 90 minutes to Portland, just to see a movie at the Hollywood theater. I’ve been waiting to see Mystery Team (trailer here and here) for over a year now. It was even better than I expected. Funniest movie I’ve seen in a really long time. There was even a Q&A afterwards with a couple of the creators of the movie. One of them was Duncan, the boy genius! If I didn’t have my kids this weekend, I’d probably attempt to drag another friend or two to see it. Unfortunately it’s not kid-friendly enough to take my kids to it.

I noticed a friend on Facebook this week joined a group called Geeky Oregon so I joined it too. Last night after the movie, we went to a Geeky Oregon event, which was a karaoke bar. The karaoke was the most messed up karaoke I’ve ever heard. A few Jonathan Coulton songs, Rick Astley and songs from various Disney movies like Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I even sang an re: Your Brains duet with Nate. Me and Jessica kept turning off the karaoke TV with my keychain remote during peoples songs. They eventually rolled out an old 80’s TV to replace it which was impervious to my remote.

I think that’s about it for this year so far. Not sure what me and the kids are gonna do today. It’s sort of nice out, so maybe we can do some Geocaching. It’s been awhile since we’ve done any of that. But first, time to go watch my last episode of Lost.

Christmas and Yelp

Merry Christmas! At 6:30am, I heard Payton’s alarm clock go off and then he turned it off. I thought he was going to wake us all up, but he went back to sleep and Emily woke me up at 8am instead. I got a new digital camera and a popcorn popper. I think I’m going to buy myself a griddle to cook pancakes on too this weekend. My kids got lots of video games, Snuggies (as a joke!), Legos and other miscellaneous things. I got my cat a remote controlled helicopter.

This is a picture of Yelp running on my iPhone, pointed in the direction of Albany so that it shows me a few restaurants and other businesses down the road. It’s a really neat application that shows you user-submitted reviews of businesses, parks and anything else. It’ll come in really handy when we’re walking around big cities and need to find our way to places. For that kind of thing it’s a much better application than regular maps, mainly because you can point your camera at a group of buildings and it labels them all for you. And the reviews are a great way to have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into or to watch for hilarity in certain employees.

Of course I’ve started using it to make crazy reviews of my own on places all over town. My profile is at where you’ll find reviews that I’ve done on Target, Arby’s, the post office and other places. I’m really loving Yelp and I hope they don’t kick me off for being too bizarre since most of my reviews are mostly honest. I plan to take pictures and review as many businesses as I can.

My BFF Spessa is doing equally hilarious reviews, which you can read at In her reviews you can learn about how to steal chips at Subway and that Petco employees are creeped out when you ask them to figure out the gender of hamsters.

In other exciting news, I started watching Lost this week. I was browsing around on Hulu and nothing looked interesting, so I decided to give Lost a try. So far I’ve watched the first 8 episodes of season 1. Even though I enjoy the show, I doubt I’ll keep watching after season 1 because there’s just too much to watch and I don’t have time for it. Great show though!

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