Monday, June 12, 2017


And I don't mean the type in a can... although I am somewhat partial to that treat, especially when camping. That, and canned corned beef - not corned beef hash which looks like dog food. But, I digress.

SPAM by any other name is usually called junk mail, be it electronic or snail delivery.

Sometimes spam is fun... as I will show you later on in this post.

BUT, first, my issues.

I just received an email that promised to lower my weight by three dress sizes. In fairness, my email address of "lore" does leave some ambiguity to my true sex, but if it was me, I'd lean more toward a male name versus it being a female name. Needless to say, my wife would have a raised eyebrow if I were to go down three dress sizes since that would demand a whole new wardrobe for me.

Before going too much further, I should admit I have more than one email address. I have several. Some are used strictly for junk email where I've gone to pages that are giving something away but demand your email address to sign up for their "discreet or seldom used" emails.  By stating "discreet" I was not inferring to any porn site - I meant, they promise not to bombard me with a bazillion emails.  Yeah, right.

I have an email with "bob" as the contact.  Now, just offhandedly, I would think most people would consider that name to be a male. Although, it could be a shortened "bobbie" for a girl, but...

Anyway, as "bob" I was offered an exclusive opportunity to join other young female executives into a very prestigious organization. I've received this email repeatedly over the days, weeks, months and yes, even years. Finally, in desperation, I replied. I was formal. I was polite. I was to the point. I wanted to know, since I'd been especially selected by a committee to join this elite group, exactly how my membership in said organization would appear, being that I'm a retired, non-executive male. Would this be an honorary degree or title? Would I be allowed to speak at engagements as "one of the girls" when they had said meetings. Of course, the fact I am over 70, male, and retired, I wasn't exactly sure how I would interact as a forceful, young female executive on her way up the corporate ladder. I was sure my insight to hair style, tasteful clothing, proper makeup and office mindset would or could be somewhat skewed.

Since my offer to accept the application and join the organization, I received ONE direct email stating the offer was designed to be general and my name would be removed from the mailing list. Since then I can honestly state, offers to join those esteemed females of the business world has lessened.

Several of my email addresses have received offerings to enhance my sexual experience. Some seem to have an idea that I might be a male and need either sexual enhancements, either in actual physical dimensions or heightened sexual enjoyment. They get deleted.  Still, I did get a couple that thought I might be female and needed a way to expand my sexual knowledge and/or heighten the pivotal moment's experience by making it last longer. I'm still on the fence as to whether I want to reply to that particular email. I really worry it might be a "snagger" - somebody who spams and hopes for replies to validate a "real" email address.

About "snaggers" - almost every email has at the bottom a little quip to state if you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here and you'll be removed or unsubscribed from the list. Again, YEAH. RIGHT. So many of those emails are valid email address collectors. Valid email addresses - you reply, validates your email as real - are worth their weight in gold... and I mean it. Even a digital email address does have some weight and become a great weapon or sales point.  You can sell 1000 emails for $1.00 but you can sell 100 validated emails for $100 - of course, I'm making up the values since I don't know the truth in what email addresses are worth, but I do know valid ones are very valuable. And, yes, one can buy email lists, and the validated email lists are extremely expensive.

I, at first, was clicking on those links to remove myself from that particular spam list. All it seemed to do was increase my junk email.  Years ago, before I had "wifi" on the road, I was camping for a week (5 days - Monday thru Friday) and when I got home, you should have seen my email "in" box.  BTW, I did have a limited spam filter working back then, too.  I will be honest - I had 3 email accounts at that time.  My "lore" address - which is my main account - had over 2700 emails in 5 days. The other two accounts had over 4000 emails between them. I spent a whole day deleting junk.  I was reminded of the scene from "Bruce Almighty" where Jim Carrey decides to just reply "yes" to all the prayer requests. I was considering just highlighting all the mail and hitting 'delete' but that meant I may lose some real mail. I stepped back from that idea and continued to delete each junk email, saving the good emails to read later.

As you read above with the executive women junk email, I had a little fun and I could have had a lot more.  Here's a couple of links to some great spam email interaction.  Enjoy.  (African gold transfer)  (Mandela diamond deal)

and this one shows how to handle "unsubscribe" tactics.

For me, I have and own several domains and therefore can have as many email addresses as I want. Of course, I also have other email addresses, too. Maintaining them does get a tad overwhelming, but they serve their purpose for me. The one "junk" email address I have is the easiest one to maintain. I go in, peruse who the email is from, select all, and hit delete. This process takes maybe a whole minute, maybe two minutes. As I said, it is my junk account and I don't usually want anything to do with the emails that come to it. My other email addresses take a little longer to work through the spam but...

As I munch on my Spam sandwich, I happily delete the spam from my main and other accounts.

Until next I ramble on...

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pomp and Circumstance

It's that time of year again - when everyone somewhere is having a graduation party.

This year my wife's school honored those who graduated not only 50 years ago, but also those who graduated 75 years ago.  My wife was in the 50 year bracket... I'm not THAT old. LOL.

It was interesting to see the difference between graduation when I graduated back in 1965, my wife in 1967 and those who graduated today.  In fact, I was noticing a lot of differences regarding the many facets of the graduation.

Hats. Boards. Whatever you want to call them - those funny square things on your head with the tassel dangling to one side.  Back in the "olde" days, they were sacred, held with reverence, etc and yada, yada.  Today, they are marked up with phrases, pictures, bedazzled and anything else you can think of.  Today I saw phrases written in stark contrast pen, several collages of pictures, a few bejeweled and bedazzled with stones and glitter, a couple with flowers and one even had a couple of butterflies on it. To say "interesting" would be mild.

When I graduated, I briskly walked across the stage, shook hands while my other hand held the diploma, a quick smile to my parents who had their cameras ready and as I walked off the stage, I moved the tassel to the opposite side to denote my graduation.  Today?  No pictures allowed ... or should I say, no flashes allowed.  There was a professional photographer taking a picture of each student graduating, a posed picture. Once everyone had their diploma and everyone was back at their seat, one student came forward, faced the graduation group and in unison, they moved the tassel to the other side with a small amount of hooting and fanfare.

Processional. There was some decorum in the introduction of the graduating class as they marched into the auditorium and up onto the stage.  Of course, the high school (.less seniors) performed the rite of passage - Pomp and Circumstance.  Eh.  No critique.  The band also played the music for the now graduated seniors as the left the auditorium.  Oh, wait.  This was new.  The students, rather than walking straight down the aisle, walked across in front of the stage, criss-crossing with the opposite side and each of them met in the middle - they did a little "something" to make it unique.  Some did a double-slap high-5, others did a hug, some did a butt-bump, some shook hands. Each couple attempted to be different than the couple before them.  Definitely not like the stiff and staunch march I had to perform at my graduation.  I think I liked it.

Graduation parties.  Wow.  My party was very low key.  I had about 10 people there, only 4 of which were graduating student friends.  I mean, almost everyone else was having family graduation parties, so I was thrilled to have a couple of friends to join my family party. We had NO family near us when I was growing up - no aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no grandparents.  My mom was from NYC, my dad was from Iowa.  I was raised in Ohio.  I had friends.

Saturday, coming through Toledo, I saw people getting ready for all the different parties.  What I found truly interesting, I noticed one guy out hammering stakes in his yard to show his property lines. Here's the cool part - he was putting up "No Parking" signs and a couple of "Private Property" signs. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing there "ain't a whole lot of neighborly love" right there.  The other guy who obviously was having the party, had tents, coolers, banners, and all sorts of party regalia up blowing in the breeze - in the yard, in the trees, on the house, over the garage. We are talking PARTY!

Memories. The speeches today kept repeating over and over - this is the last time you will all be together as a group. Never again will you all be together in one spot.  In my head, I could hear so many of those graduates mentally thinking: Yeah, yeah, we'll all get together for our 5 year reunion.

No, you won't. Surprise! Today was your last day together as a group. Tomorrow, next month, next year, as terrible as this sounds, one of your old schoolmates will bite the dust. That's right, they'll die. Or, they'll be in surgery or overseas, or not get the notification or one of a thousand other reasons for them not to be there.  How do I know?  One of my classmates passed two weeks prior to our 50th reunion.  I had to skip the 40th reunion due to a quadruple bypass surgery.  One of our classmates has fallen off the face of the earth - we have NO contacts for him - no parents, no relatives, no siblings. He graduated and that is the last we saw him. I graduated during the Vietnam era but I can proudly say, we lost no classmates to the war. Those who have passed, have done so since.

So, to those graduating this year. You have a few distinctions that I would like to bring up.

1. You are the last graduating class who was born in the 1900s.
2. You are technically advanced but totally ignorant of simplistic thinking.
3. You see space and the stars as locations, we saw them as points of wonder for the imagination.
4. The nucleus family is no more.
5. Like a rock star who hasn't had a hit in two months, when I pass, no one will care beyond the next day or visit my grave... this is your future.

Today was Pomp and Circumstance. Tomorrow is reality.

Until next I ramble on...