Monday, June 30, 2008

Twisting skyscraper is a fake

Last week, the BBC published this article about an amazing rotating skyscraper that was to be built in Dubai.

It looks like BBC got hosed, as the “architect” has no training nor credentials whatsoever in architecture! This article exposes Mr. Fisher having puffed his credentials:

“In a biography he had been distributing for months, he said...he received an honorary doctorate from "The Prodeo Institute at Columbia University in New York."

No such institution exists, however, and Columbia said it had never awarded Fisher an honorary degree.”

He even did a slick computer animation:

It's too bad it's a fake. . . .

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beware of Australian eBay fraud

I’ve noticed that people from Australia take great delight in playing subtle word games, and this eBay auction is a great example of using word games to decieve the public:

Note that the title is "accurate", but it's not imprecise:

"Apple iPhone 8Gb Original Box and Manual"

Of course, we can see that folks did not read the fine print, and they have five bidders, the highest at over $120.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, we see this:

"This auction does not include a phone, only the original box and manual."

Here is almost the exact same case, from Judge Judy, where a lady crook sells a photograph of the goods! The lday claims that the buyer should have to pay hundreds of dollars because they could not read!!

Watch this, it's hilarious!

Of course, when the scam plays out, the Australian bad guys will say that it is legit . . .

People who play word games like this are very shameful . . .

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's a felony to put foreign objects in food!

One if the most important lessons that I taught my kids was to NEVER, EVER return food in a restaurant, no matter how gross it is.

I used to work in a restaurant, and I’ve seen cooks do terrible things to returned food. We all remember the scumbag woman who planted a human finger in her Wendy’s chili:

But sometimes food gets contaminated by accident as was the case with this North Carolina man who refused to return a severed finger. In this case, a man in a custard shop breached common courtesy by refusing to return a man's finger because he was saving it for evidence in a lawsuit:

"The piece of index finger was found earlier this month by Clarence Stowers in the dessert he purchased from Kohl's Frozen Custard in the coastal town of Wilmington.

Stowers had refused to give it to the shop's owner or a doctor who was treating 23-year-old Brandon Fizer, who accidentally stuck his hand in a mixing machine and had his finger lopped off at the first knuckle.

Stowers put the finger in his freezer, taking it out occasionally to show to television cameras."

But it’s worse than fingers, now and we now see ever grosser body stuff being placed in restaurant chow. . . . .

Pubes as a seasoning

Ever since Scott Tenorman started using pubic hairs as a chili seasoning, the trend has seems to have taken off, with chefs all over America trying out this new condiment.

Scott Tenorman's pubed chili

According to the AP, a chef at the Texas Roadhouse Steak House chain introduced a new entrĂ©e’ the "pube steak", after Kropp decided that the Texas Roadhouse steaks would be even better with a smattering of his own pubic hair:

“Kropp told police he put a few of his facial hairs on the steak, saying he was angry the customer sent the other steak back and thought he was "just trying to get free stuff," the complaint said.”

Evidently, when the customer discovered the pubes, he called the police, who made a prompt arrest. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall then the police stormed into Texas Roadhouse demanding a pube lineup.

But anyhow, it looks like justice will be done, and I hope that he gets the maximum jail time:

“Kropp was charged in Washington County Circuit Court with a felony of placing foreign objects in edibles, carrying up to 3 1/2 years in prison.”

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Redneck fast food

Fark has a great discussion of the best burgers in the northeast (check out the funny pictures!), but they omitted the great redneck burger joints south of the Mason Dixon line.

The best redneck fast food is hard to define, as there are many criteria, but some common denominators include:

Good Price - Good redneck chow is inexpensive

Greasy - Good redneck cuisine must be fried, with good grease retention.

Spicy - Good redneck chow has some "kick", usually with red chili (think and greasy)or hot green chile, spicy with a huge kick.

While there are thousands of great redneck dine dining establishments, here are a few that have impressed me the most.

Here are a few of my favorites, past and present:

Big Dicks - Once a Louisburg North Carolina landmark, Big Dick’s Drive-in was on South Bickett St. in Louisburg for decades. A vintage 1950’s style drive-in restaurant, it was last real vestige of a lost age of redneck fine dining. Dick’s was famous for their hot dogs, but everybody remembers their motto "If you like hot dogs, you'll love Dicks".

In California, my all time favorite is Tom's #5 (the most famous one is at the Santa Monica wharf), but they have Toms #5's through LA. They have an amazing chili, so rich that you can almost mold figures with it, with a rich greasy taste in a pasty consistency. Combine this with their little green hot peppers and you have redneck ambrosia.

Toms #5 - Thick greasy chili

One of the best of the best is the Owl Cafe in San Antionio and Albuquerque. The original Owl Cafe was in San Antonio New Mexico (home of Conrad Hilton), and it was wildly popular with the German scientists on the Manhattan project who were building the world's first atomic bomb at the trinity site nearby.

The Owl Burger with hot green chile

Known for their wonderful green chile, there is now an Owl Cafe in Albuquerque. And don't forget their green chile cheese fries, a redneck gastronomic orgasm.

And no survey would be complete without mentioning "The Varsity" and Nick Tahou's, home of the Original garbage plate, redneck ambrosia.

For the whole story, read my notes on the best of redneck fast food:

Snacking in the Supermarket

I cannot understand why some poor people think that the grocery store is a place to go for a free meal. I remember that I would not allow my kids to open or eat anything before it was paid for, it’s just good manners.

But now I’m seeing more scum than ever before using the supermarket as their personal buffet, and it’s getting out of control:

- I once saw a wino going into the liquor section of a grocery store with a bottle opener and a straw.

- I saw a lady grab a doughnut, take a bite, make a face, and put it back on the tray!

-I vividly recall one woman who was eating cherries and spitting the seeds back into the fruit pile. Eww . . .

For some reason, I’ve seen people munching away in the produce section, and worse yet, teaching their kids that it’s OK to help themselves to whatever they find, as if it’s free, so long as it’s in their bellies!

But it’s not just staples that people eat; they go for the expensive treats too! I’ve seen welfare scum chomping away at delicacies, and I even saw a dirtbag eating pickled herring, right in the grocery aisle!

But now it’s gotten way out of hand, when the scum puts the items back on the shelves after contaminating it with poor folk cooties . . .

This jerk, Timothy Boggs, was arrested for using an underarm deodorant in the store, and them putting it back on the shelf!

And Scott Masters faces a prison term for stealing a doughnut, and strong-arming the store clerk who tried to make him pay:

“Scott A. Masters, 41, is accused of shoplifting a single donut worth 52 cent in a strong-arm robbery. For that, he could get a sentence of 30 years to life!”

It’s sad. A survey of workplace dishonesty reveals that one-third of supermarket employees eat food without paying as well, and eating in the supermarket is now included on many pre-employment polygraph tests.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Genesis class cruise ship: The Oasis

Royal Caribbean is underway with the Oasis Class cruise ships, check out this video.

The first ship is due out later in 2009, replacing the Freedom Class ships, currently the world’s largest cruise ships.

It’s an impressive floating city. At a cost of $1,200,000, she has a football sized indoor park in the atrium, and hold 6,400 passengers.

In addition to the standard amenities for hippies (doctors of Chinese medicine, herbologists, aroma therapists) she also will feature redneck attractions, including a tattoo parlor and an on-board psychic, even better than Miss Cleo.

The Annual BC cruise will take place in March 2009 aboard the Independence of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship until the Genesis class gets underway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Foreign death threat extortion spam!

If the Nigerian 419 scams were not enough, some foreign scumbags are now making death threats and extortion demands against American citizens:

People are reporting these crimes to the police, but with the dismal failure of foreign governments to police their own citizens, there is little hope to stop this abuse.

Of course, who is to say that these death threats are not real?

The newspapers have reported for decades that foreign assassins can be hired to kill people, often at very reasonable prices. I've spoken with some "insiders" who say that law enforcement wants to treat these spam threats as terrorism, thereby giving law enforcement an effective way to stop the threat.

Date Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:34 pm


I felt very sorry and bad for you, that your life is going to end like this if you don’t comply, i was paid to eliminate you and I have to do it within10 days. Someone you call your friend wants you dead by all means, and the person have spent a lot of money on this, the person also came to us and told us that he wants you dead and he provided us your names, photograph and other necessary information we needed about you.

If you are in doubt with this I will send you your name and where you are residing in my next mail. Meanwhile, I have sent my boys to track you down and they have carried out the necessary investigation needed for the operation, but I ordered them to stop for a while and not to strike immediately because I just felt something good and sympathetic about you. I decided to contact you first and know why somebody will want you dead by all means. Right now my men are monitoring you, their eyes are on you, and even the place you think is safer for you to hide might not be. Now do you want to LIVE OR DIE? It is up to you. Get back to me now if you are ready to enter deal with me, I mean life trade, who knows, and I might just spear your life, $12,000 is all you need to spend.

You will first of all pay $4,000 then I will send the tape of the person that want you dead to you and when the tape gets to you, you will pay the remaining $8,000. If you are not ready for my help, then I will have no choice but to carry on the assignment after all I have already being paid before now.

Warning: Do not think of contacting the police or even tell anyone because I will extend it to any member of your family since you are aware that somebody want you dead, and the person knows some members of your family as well. For your own good I will advise you not to go out once is 7pm until I make out time to see you and give you the tape of my discussion with the person who want you dead then you can use it to take any legal action.

Good luck as I await your reply to this e-mail contact:

Bermuda sprigs needs 20,000 gallons of water a day

As ranchers, grass is food, and with 50+ horses, we are always seeking good grass to supplement out Coastal Bremuda, Fescue and Poanna.

We wanted something special for our front yard, and we wanted a a turf that is drought resistant, hardy, with a fine grain and fast divot recovery.

As we live in North Carolina, we chose the Tifton 419 Bermuda, the Cadillac of golf turf.

It ain't cheap ($2,800 for 1.5 acres of sprigs), but I soon found out thatthe largest expense was getting 20,000 gallons of water each day to keep the sprigs viable. We have many wells, and the horses drink 3,000 gallons of water a day, but pumping 20,000 gallons daily is a big chore!

We use our front yard for the elderly ponies, and to do the Tifton 419 we had to move them to another pasture. Below right is Missy, born in 1971. At 37 years old, she is still going strong:

Twinkie (left, age 22) and Missy (age 37) being ignored by Noel

Upon delivery of the Bermuda sprigs, it's important to get them in the ground quickly and keep them moist for a full ten days, until the roots take hold. TRhey look quite dead, at-first.

Tifton 419 Sprigs

I got two thousand gallon plastic barrels, and some thoughtput neighbors allowed me to take 20,000 gallons a day from their ponds, very nice:

Two, 1,000 gallon water jugs

As the pond water arrives, we pour it into a well hole and then pump the water from the well onto the sprig area using irrigation pipes and sprinklers. We used a 10 hp. electric pump to get the water pressure required to spray the entire area, which needed hourly soaking during daylight hours.

Sprig irrigation system

For more complete details, see my full notes on Residential golf green design

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

See the world's first computer bug

Outstanding and fun article here on early computer bugs:

The world first computer "bug"

By Grace Hopper, a.k.a. "Amazing Grace":

"On September 9, 1945, U.S. Navy officer Grace Hopper found the first computer "bug": a moth stuck between the relays on the Harvard Mark II (successor to the Mark I above)

She noted it on her log as the "first actual case of bug being found." Though the term "bug" had meant a computer error beforehand, it became a popular term after this incident."

Monday, June 16, 2008

A High Tech switchblade knife!

My nephew is a hand-to-hand combat specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps, and he mentioned that with the enemy using Kevlar vests, it’s increasing difficult to get in a good chest wound with a knife.

Of course, gut wounds only annoy the enemy and increase your chances of getting hurt, so it’s refreshing to see the new WASP knife, perfect for those up-close and personal engagements.

The WASP Knife - Soon coming for home defense & recreational use

This remarkable knife makes a gut wound instantly fatal! Just ram it in, up to the shank, and this cutie instantly releases a basketball sized gas bubble!

A former U.S. Army Ranger notes that the WASP knife is great for scuba combat as well:

"That is the approved method to defend against enemy divers.

The Navy trained dolphins to patrol harbors and when they found a diver they would go to the dock, grap a tool with their mouth and go ram the diver with the tool.

The tool had a big needle and compressed air and inflated the diver, killing him and bringing him to the surface. Sucky way to die."

While it’s now a military weapon, it’s only a matter of time before the WASP knife is available for home protection and recreational use.

In a related matter, my article on the fashion industry embracing of designer ladies handguns is taking off! As I predicted, this has become a major fashion trend!

Check-out this web page of adorable, diamond-studded ladies handguns:

Ladies designer handguns take-off

“Defend yourself in style with a designer handgun from Bijan of Beverly Hills.

Fashioned from 18-carat gold and studded with diamonds, this .22 caliber revolver is for people with a lot to protect. Listed Cost: $98,000”

Gucci bags are so last year.

This lovely $98,000 ladies fashion accessory is perfect for any occasion, from a casual get-together to white tie and tails. . . .

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Developing the perfect golf swing!

Brad Clayton, a PGA Master professional and one of the best golf instructors that I have ever worked with, has just published this fantastic video on the "grip-down drill":

Brad is working on his new book "Puzzle Duck Golf", and it looks like its going to be a bestseller!

Hasta La Vista, Vista!

In one of the most inept acts in the history of software engineering, the buggy Microsoft Vista has caused a giant uproar in the business community as they struggle to un-install Vista.

Vista - A festering pile of dog vomit

But it's not just Microsoft Vista that is profoundly buggy. Please read this report how massive SQL injection attacks hit over ten thousand web sites running Microsoft SQL Server.

It's incredible to many professionals that Microsoft can make billions of dollars via their stranglehold on the free market, while providing software that cannot be safely used for the purpose for which it was intended.

SQL Server injection attacks are epidemic

Vista has cost American consumers thousands of man years in lost productivity. The Raleigh News & Observer notes that smart corporations have stayed away from Vista:

"Forrester Research noted that by the end of last year, only 6.3 percent of 50,000 corporate users surveyed were using Vista, with the market share of Windows XP hardly dented in the process (the defections came from users of the older Windows 2000)."

The report says that the Gartner Group has labeled Microsoft as "Collapsing", great news for the victims of Vista:

"With Microsoft making $15 billion a year on Windows, consumer and business software profits are key to future success.
Thus when Gartner analysts recently described Windows as "collapsing" and the victim of an increasingly unadaptable code base, the alternatives before the company seemed stark."

An actual Vista error!

I have come to believe that Microsoft is about as inept at developing software as it's founder was at getting girlfriends. The world's richest man, and he could not get a date . . .

I just got done spending over $250 to a PC technician to wipe my brand new laptop clean and install Windows XP, the lesser of the two evils. For reasons that are not completely clear, Vista would eat-up four billion bytes of RAM with the simple acts of web browsing and e-mail.

Read my notes on why Microsoft Vista is the greatest software engineering disaster in the history of the world.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Conducting pre-employment background checks

In this day and age of rampant resume fraud, savvy employers must carefully verify the background and credentials of all job applicants. Resume fraud is not a criminal offense, and resume fraud has become an epidemic, with professionals posting fake degrees, false experience.
In the computer industry, trust is the single most important issue, as it can be a disaster to give someone with honesty issues access to confidential corporate data.

See my notes on “Are you Trustworthy”, and how to get a security clearance.

However, this Businessweek article notes that background checks are not perfect, and that the hiring manager needs to re-verify any negative results.

The article also notes the top firms that conduct background checks.

- ChoicePoint – Georgia
- USIS – Virginia
- First Advantage – California
- Kroll Background Screening – Tennessee

“For $60 to $80 per applicant, ChoicePoint and its rivals assemble digital dossiers of educational degrees and credit histories as well as interviews with friends, past bosses, and colleagues.

Call-center workers wearing headsets inquire about work habits, personal character, and drug or alcohol problems. Just by dint of their heft and permanence, the proprietary data caches they compile can seem authoritative, even though the information sometimes contains errors, innuendos, or outright falsehoods.”

One of the best screening techniques is old-fashioned employment verification, and every prospective employer is allowed to as “Would you re-hire this person”. The answer to that question can be very revealing . . . .

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

National TV story on Seeing Eye horses is now on YouTube!

Last month, I documented our last trip to NYC with Scout and Cuddles!

Here is the TV show from YouTube:

Here are some of our pics from the trip. This is Jen3 and Dan practicing in Times Square:

We also got to meet some celebrities. Can you guess who this fellow is, standing behind me and Janet?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hypochondriac medicine

For nearly 100 years, physicians have been treating hypochondriacs with Obecalp (the world “placebo” spelled backwards), tasty sugar pills what have worked wonders for a variety of imagined ailments.

This vendor now sells Obecalp for kids! It’s online, no prescription needed.

Speaking of physician acronyms, this article on abbreviations that doctors use to insult fakers and hypochondriacs is quite revealing and funny:

- Fecal Encephalopathy – Poo for brains
- PRATFO - Patient Reassured And Told to Flip Off.
- GOMER – Get out of my ER
- CCFCP - Coo Coo For Coco Puffs. A patient with a mental disorder
- Brothel sprouts – Venereal diseases
- OGK - Only God Knows, common with the really strange cases.
- TUBE - Totally unnecessary breast examination
- JMI - Junior Mint Inside

Also, see this list:

But some, such as CTF “Cletus the fetus” and TNT just pain mean:. Some doctors think that they are Gods . . . .

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Burl Stump cutting

This web page shows how to slice a stump to extract the burl. To slice such a large stump to maximize burl, we will rent a 36 inch bar length chainsaw which will cut 72 inches, a seven foot swath.

The trick is to minimize the lossage from the chainsaw kerf, and this is achieved by dissecting the stump into pieces that can be milled with a standard vertical bandsaw (usually 24 inches).

It appears that a stump is sliced as a face cut, “vertically”, parallel to the trunk:

Rather than build a chainsaw mill, we can make face cuts, two feet apart, small enough for the mill to process thinner slices.

Once the stump is dissected into two foot high chunks, the mills precision saw can cut them into half inch face cut slices, and after drying, they can be planed into 3/8 inch panels.

Building a chainsaw mill

Another approach is a chainsaw mill, but it’s wasteful because of kerf lossage. You start with a single chainsaw cut to get a level surface. Once a flat plane is achieved, these experts built a chainsaw jig to slice the stump into level pieces.

BC woodwork shows how to create a chainsaw mill:

The Face Transformer!

This web site allows you to upload a photograph of any face and transform the face:

You can see any face as a baby, a teenager, different races, and as a caveman, quite funny!