Monday, July 30, 2012

I was going to feed my hand to an alligator, now I know I should not!

Every once in a while, a news report appears which is frightening, given the sheer level of stupidity shown by some corners in this land of ours, supposedly a first world country.

I am not talking about the latest Lindsey Lohan run with the law or Tom Cruise's Scientology travails. I am taking about something indicative of a danger in our society.

The story is this. A boat operator in the Everglades had his hand eaten by an alligator, while taking some tourists on a tour. For some reason, his hand was in the water and the gator gobbled it up. Literally adding insult to injury, he was arrested, charged with feeding the gator (a misdemeanor) and had to pay  $1,000  bail and is going to Court.

A few years ago, I was astounded that the city of Naples, Florida, has an ordinance (another word for law, btw), prohibiting feeding ducks, or other "nuisance animals". So, I suppose that feeding of wild animals is basically forbidden in Florida.

Well, let us suppose I am eating a sandwich, and a duck grabs it from my hand and walks away happy. Or comes next to me to eat falling crumbs. That means the duck was fed.

I suppose only a very narrow minded (or plain stupid) individual would consider this voluntary feeding of the ducks. Thus, no violation of the Naples ordinance would have taken place.

Just how well trained are individuals who charge others for crimes or violations is beyond me. For there is an obvious distinction between voluntary and involuntary feeding. I do not think I have ever met anybody in their right mind who willingly wants to lose his hand. My hands are very useful to me, and everybody who has fully working hands concurs with that statement. The hand is not an unloved part of the human body.

Thus, it seems obvious to me that the man was not giving his hand to the reptile for a yummy meal. If the gator was fed, it was obviously involuntary.

There are two plausible options. The person who charged the unlucky boat captain is utterly unqualified to discern the difference between voluntary and involuntary, in which case he should be fired, or the law is flawed, making no such distinction, or worse yet, considering both voluntary and involuntary to be the same thing, in which case the legislators who created such law should be brought into scrutiny.

Either way, it is scary, for we are often in the hands of people who interpret such laws (no voluntary pun intended), and can cause us great loss of reputation, money, time, etc, etc. While they spend years and years messing up, with a warning here and there, if at all.

So now I know. I really had in my list of ten things to do before dying feeding one my hands to an alligator, now I know it is against the law...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Service with kindness

You would certainly expect this type of slogan from an entity such as the Red Cross, or any NGO helping the homeless, abused children or even animals.

However, it is used by a towing company called Tremont Towing in Miami Beach.

I suppose once in a year or so, Tremont and Beach Towing, the two much unloved towing companies of Miami Beach, do service that would make any grandmother proud, such as helping an old lady move her junk car out of a bad and unlit neighborhood at a very late hour.

However, most of the time the two companies spend their days in activities that some describe as unfair, others as a rackett. Not my words. Just google them, and see for yourself.

Be that as it may, one would question how come towing a disabled car costs so little, and towing a car that has supposedly violated a parking privilege (and sometimes has not, but that is a topic for another post, or book), costs so much. No, it is not the fine. The fines are charged separately.

I suppose whoever concocted this slogan is either very cynical or totally nuts.

Friday, July 27, 2012

All things to all people or a whole lotta hypocrisy going on

One of the most ridiculous and defining moments of the nineties was when Bill Clinton attempted to convince the world that oral sex was not sex, only penetration was. I suppose he was successful, thus, we have been since then redifining sex, marriage, underage, consent, sex act, and a number of other things.

In the 2000's, it is no secret that many websites that emerged might entertain monopolistic intentions, thus, becoming a one-stop shop, all things to all people. You know, where you check the news, the weather, find information, photographs, sounds, movie information, sex and violence. Ooops! Yes, sex and violence.

No one wants to admit, but our society (maybe all societies) is simply fascinated by sex and violence. And given our fascination, we attempt to redifine what constitutes graphic or written representation of sex and violence, moreover, what is legal.

Yet, there are things such as nice and bad neighborhoods on the internet. A lot of hosting companies do not accept sex sites because they can make their servers be tagged as "bad neighborhoods". Yet, sex sites continue to spring about all over the place, and sex text and pictures still drive most of the traffic on the web.

Thus remains the question. To be all things to all people, you cannot leave sex (and violence) out of the picture. Yet, to be all things to all people, you have to protect the children against sex (and violence) as well.

What to do? Simple, I suppose write a few policies to make believe something is being done about the matter, and then, don't do anything.

Facebook, the most successful social site of the world, has policies pertaining not only to portrayal of sex and violence, as well as hate speech, trade mark infringement, impersonation and a host other naughty things. And it has a mechanism for reporting such infringements, including sexual content. 

Do not waste your time reporting, you might be frustrated. Let it be, let the children be exposed to these things.

I have written a few posts about the Subscriber Suggestions that are fed to profiles daily. I visited quite a few of the suggestions, to check whether there was anything interesting, and came to the conclusion that a vast number of these profiles are not real people, rather, simple mini Light Porno sites. I reported a few, to no avail. I suppose the resourceful profile owners decided to place the naughty pictures inside albums, rather than the cover, and there is no place to report albums. As the covers are OK, the profile is deemed OK by the latte-drinking individual who is quickly reading the nuisance report and getting ready to check his iphone for any text messages for the 100th time in the day.

Then yesterday I got this suggestion, and it looked from the profile photo that this time I could probably get one of these removed. It became a matter of honor to me, getting at least one of them profiles removed. The picture portrayed a woman, with the camera focusing on her behind covered by a tiny thong. 

Then there was the cover photo.

Two almost fully unclad women, one on top of the other. The one on top held a bare breast of the one laying down, who had this orgasmic face and a finger inside her mouth. For sure they would consider this risque.  

Guess what, I got a response from the site saying nothing was wrong with the picture, I suppose for them this is not sex, it is a pic-nic in the park! In fairness, they provided me a chance to state my case further. Which I did.

I invited them to look at the only album on the profile, the cover photo album! There was a picture of a machine gun (see, violence there somewhere), and a lot of cash thrown all over. The rest were all pictures of women in different stages of disrobing. In one picture, three women are shot from behind, wearing teeeeeeeeeeeeny thongs, and you could clearly see their anuses. In another, two women hold each other, with huge breasts allowing partial view of their nipples. Another picture portrayed a woman wearing purple tights, shot from the bottom up, with her finger clearly up her you know what. These were the most blatant cases, but the rest of the pictures where all sexy, and you could see enough of the women's private zones, plenty of shades or outlines of nipples and pubic hair to qualify these as sexual content or nudity.

Guess what again. The profile is still up.

I suppose for FB sexual content has to involve a man and a woman having sex (funny, marriages don't require that anymore, but the definition of sexual content does). Clear rectum shots are not sexual, nor is shooting pudenda covered by tights, clearly depicting female masturbation, or hot women fondling each other's bare breasts. So I suppose, the Clinton doctrine as to what constitute sex applies to FB as well.

I am not the Beatles' "Mean Mr. Mustard", always shouting at something obscene. If you want to see pornography and women (or men) in all stages of nakedness on the internet, there are tons of sites to see, perhaps millions, who knows. Facebook is supposed to be a safe zone for children, in fact, any child can befriend this profile, and be feed these titillating pictures.

The hypocrisy is having the so-called policy in place and a mechanism for reporting. 

I for one, will no longer waste my time. I've had it. My attempt to block the subscriber suggestions was unsuccessful, for I suppose, there is no such a thing. In that sense, the ball is in my court, I will simply ignore the suggestions henceforth. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Understanding Facebook subscriber suggestions

I am sorry. I am old school, I like to understand things. I still believe that things are done for a reason. Are we not in the age of reason and knowledge?

Apparently not.

I would like to understand the criteria used by Facebook to suggest people (?) I should subscribe to.

I suppose the subscription deal is supposed to work like a twitter. I am no big fan of twitter, in fact, I find it the worst waste of time ever. We are made believe celebrities are actually writing most of the stuff, when handlers, secretaries, public relations actually do. It is mostly planned, folks.

So, I have no use for twitter. Facebook theoretically offers interaction.

The worst thing is, who are these people? I get something like dozens of suggestions a day, I do not know a single one of these persons. Why I am supposed to be subscribing to them?

No rhyme and reason. Curious that I am, I began to look into these profiles, and again, I saw no rhyme and reason.

Some of these people have not visited their profile for more than two years.

Some of them have 30 friends!

A lot of them are no more than soft porn profiles, with women (and men) clad in skimpy outfits, or totally nude but covering strategic parts with hands, toothpicks, some of them covering almost nothing. The idea is to portray huge silicon infused mammaries, or photoshop treated derrieres barely covered by thongs. Some of them are clear violation of FB's own policies, but upon writing them, they say the infringing profiles are OK!

Not only that, some of these profiles contain sexy pose photographs of girls who are obviously underage, and others refers to external sexy sites.

One of them actually promoted "encounters" among the adult members.

A large number are not even people, they are clearly companies, which, again supposedly violates FB policies. Others have pictures of celebrities on the cover photo, another policy violation.

At the end of the day, nothing makes sense. These sites supposedly have algorithms that service ads, suggestions, etc based on my interests, and what I have been serviced thus far are things I am not interested on.

Therefore, if this latte-ecstasy fueled idea is to create a twitter-buster, I suppose the company should fire whoever thought of this "gem".

It is definitely creating a more negative FB experience...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On music and celebrities, tête-à-tête

This modern world is quite something.

Facebook (and before that, Myspace, does it still exist, btw?), with all its flaws, has allowed me, and I suppose many others, to make contact with people I never dreamed of. Granted that I am not likely to be a Madonna or Lady Gaga, a super-duper star fan, I like mostly things on the fringes, if you know what I mean. Even so, even these people B-celebrity musicians, athletes, actors, are rather difficult to every meet in person.

Honestly, I have met my share of celebs personally, and I was not impressed. I would rather stay on my side of the world, let them where they are, thank you very much. They have egos, some of them are downright aloof, others just plain nasty, while a very few of them I could see really befriending.

The computer screen is, however, a screen in more ways than one. Sure, it is where we see stuff, but it also screens in the sense that it creates a degree of separation between people. The connectivity is there, but even with digital cameras and whatnot, it is not a physical reality. This affords celebs a degree of safety, a safe zone. We don't get close enough to see the aloofness, the ego, nastiness, etc.

Well, having said that, I befriended quite a lot of my heroes on the Internet, most of whom are still unknown to the major public. As I am not here too name drop or embarrass anybody, moi included, so I will not mention names. Maybe you are a fan too. Small world, isn't it.

I am not much a music consumer anymore. A musician myself, sometimes I am reminded of a Pete Townsend song, I believe called "Too much", where he says "I think I heard too many songs", or something to that effect. Most extremely contemporary music leaves me cold. Actually, if I can sit down on the piano and easily play it, I got no use for it. Give me old Yes and ELP! So I spend my money elsewhere.

One of my FB "friends" is a singer whose work I enjoyed immensely in the 90s. In fact I still do. However, her two last albums were not very good.

And she just released another one.

So, every day she is putting news about her new album, I guess, she wants me, and her other FB buddies, to dish out a few bucks and buy the tracks.

I can be sincere with you, perhaps not with her. I am not about to do it. For some reason, 1 dollar to me has assumed  a relevance I did not ascribe to it 20 years ago.

I will keep dodging her postings, what is a man to do?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Walgreens in Sunny Isles ridiculous prices

I like Walgreens, I admit. So, I got no axe to grind against the company.

One night, my wife and I were returning from dinner at a restaurant in Sunny Isles, when I remembered we had run out of cat food in the morning. It was late at night, and although there is a Walgreens near where I live, we decided to stop at the one in Sunny Isles, at Collins Avenue.

Big mistake.

You would think that Walgreens is Walgreens is Walgreens. Some price variation here and there is expected, who knows, 10 %? That sounds fair, 10 %. However, I almost had a heart attack when I found that the cat food brand I buy, which normally costs $0.65 at MY Walgreens, was being sold for a hefty $1.49 in Sunny Isles' Walgreens!

As I was there, I decided to take a couple of cans for immediate use, while noting my displeasure to the cashier.

The lady did not miss a beat. She said things were much more expensive there because of the several five-star hotels surrounding the store. My wife quite intelligently reminded here that few, if any people, bring their cats to a beach vacation. I add now, that certainly the prices are not so high because of great demand, for these Sunny Isles five-star hotels normally have a couple of rooms lit any time at night, leading me to believe they are empty.

Even the deli nearby my office, which is awfully expensive, charges $0.85 for cat food!!

I will definitely never set foot on that store again.

They can wait for the 5-star hotel patrons to buy their cat food...

Lesson of that day. Not all Walgreens is Walgreens.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Facebook's ill advised suggestions

A few times, friends have reported that their Facebook profiles had been removed or suspended, allegedly because they had put some risqué photographs in their profiles. They all swear the photos were not sexy at all, so I suppose, Facebook's criteria for sexiness is rather strong.

Let me rephrase, was rather strong.

After reaching a threshold of 5000 friends, you can no longer add "friends".  FB changed what are considered friends (it seems that every LIKE I had ever put on FB became a friend overnight, and they are nowhere to be found), so I am no longer able to add people I do want to add.

However, I am able to subscribe to people.

Honestly, I do not see any reason for subscribing to unknown, uninteresting people with whom I will have no interaction. Actually, I don't see a reason to do it even with people most folks find interesting, such as celebs, artists, athletes and pols. For that, there is twitter, which I loath. For me Facebook is about interacting, and if somebody is not interested (and will not receive) my updates, I am not interested in theirs.

Call me grumpy.

Notwithstanding the fact that 80 people found "moi" to be interesting to subscribe to (wonder where they got that idea), I have yet to "subscribe" to anybody.

Which does not stop Facebook from suggesting tons of "people" for me to subscribe to.

Just for arguments` sake, I began to click on the profiles they were feeding me, to see what Facebook was suggesting I subscribe to. And I was amazed.

Most of the suggestions I am being fed are soft-porn profiles, which only obvious "raison d'etre" is titillation, barely hidden pudenda on display. In some cases, one can almost do gynecological examinations of the women portrayed. Downright nudity is rare, however, silicon-boosted tits hang about all over the place, strategically covered by an arm, and orgasmic faces are the norm. Shots of derrieres clad in skimpy thongs are all over the place. Even worse. Some of the bodacious "women" look extremely underage, so this might be very close to underage pornography.

Some of the profiles do contain suggestions to visit outside sites.

What exactly has changed? How come FB was so strict about this issue, and now, not only allows, but also promotes these profiles? Does the stock market floating have anything to do with this?

I am doing what I can, which is reporting as many of them as they are fed.

Whether anything will be done, there remains a huge question mark.

By the way, how about the no company profile regulation?

Why do I bother?

We are all equal, however, some seem more equal than others.    

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some suggestions

Simply warning readers about bad customer experiences is not sufficient. Every once in a while, we should give kudos were they are deserved.

Manolo's is an old eatery in Miami Beach (it also has a location in South Beach. It serves good food at good prices. The orange juice is great! They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and the staff is friendly. Try the Choripan, a sandwich of Argentine sausage, served with fries, for under 5 bucks! The Churrasco is good for two. Don't come looking for seafood, few options.

A new automobile museum opened in Miami. The has European and American cars, plus Hollywood cars. is a place where you can obtain certified, notarized translations of documents.  serves pasta made with organic ingredients, and it has a beat the clock menu until 5 PM.

In South Beach, also has a beat the clock menu. It is one of the few inexpensive places on Lincoln Road.

More suggestions later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Don't make this my problem

I lived in the North for many years. North of the USA, if you are wondering (or care), more notably, the Northeast.

I used to come to Florida quite often, escaping not only the cold weather, but also I what I perceived as people's coldness. I used to find people up there to be cold, selfish, and impolite. Whenever I came to South Florida, I found the going much easier, people eager to help and polite, etc.

After a while, moving to South Florida became a dream, almost an obsession. My stays in South Beach were a daily, sweet recollection, and changing residence became a goal.

Eventually I did move. In fact, I moved right after the last hurricane had wreaked havoc in the Miami area, so I guess, people were a bit edgy.

I had a bit of a problem with the phone company, for almost obvious reasons, so, for a while, I had to live and run a business through cell phones and depending on friends to run credit card sales from land lines.

I was relieved when I found an internet cafe nearby the apartment building. I needed to have internet access immediately, and it was a Godsend.

I began to make small talk to the person running the joint (the only one there). She was very curt and said, "DON'T MAKE THIS MY PROBLEM!!!!"

So much for a warm welcome!

I found out that quick holidays and frequenting good restaurants and shops in South Beach was one thing, actually living in South Florida, dealing with everything and everyone else, quite another.

I suppose the real estate crisis and ensuing economic woes made things worse. But the reality is, living here you have to deal with a lot of impoliteness, selfishness, coldness, in addition to incompetence and laziness, in addition to crazy driving at I95. I hate to generalize things, but this is more the norm than the exception.

Yes, the climate is great, no hurricane has come this way since then, but quite honestly, on a personal level, South Florida living is way different than a South Florida vacation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A city sponsored by sex?

For a few months, the parking tickets dispensed by Miami Beach parking meters had a very curious sponsor - a school for pole dancing!

I do not mean for dancing with Polish individuals. You read it right, the city's parking tickets were sponsored by a school that taught women (maybe men) to pole dance. One might give the excuse that the folks going to this school were learning pole dancing to entertain their husbands or families, but I don't think I have ever met somebody that has a pole in their house for such purposes.

Thus, it leads me to think that the idea is to get more local gals involved in a strip club career! So nice that the city thinks about the "professional" development of local "talent"...More ho`s for MB!

Now the ads have been replaced by Burger King, but I thought it would be nice to note the record for future generations.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I won a lawsuit against Google

Before you write me a comment explaining how times have been tough for your lately, the recession, unemployment, to convince me to donate a few million to the Obama or Romney campaigns, or requiring funds for some endangered species protection scheme read on.

I won something less than 6 bucks.

I am not frustrated at all, because I did not even know I had sued google. Insofar as I was concerned, our relationship was OK. However, our laws allow some law firm somewhere to file suit on my behalf, and I am not even being told by anybody what I am being protected from.

This is not the first, or last time I get one of these. Got these from phone, credit card companies, etc., etc., etc.

I am supposed to believe that this serves a grander purpose of keeping huge companies in check. They must have done something that made me lose money, and need punishment! Years ago, phone companies use to insert in their bills all types of bogus fees, some with the official word "federal" attached to it. Good ole` class action attorneys came to my rescue, to your rescue, and to my recollection, I got something like 30 bucks. On the top of my head, I must have paid a few thousand in bogus fees during the course of the years, but got a mere 30 dollars in "restitution".

The company vigilante role would be OK, except that such attorneys, who represent me, and whom I did not hire, take home a few million for their work in "settling" these cases.

So at this point, I wish there was a class action attorney to take on the class action attorneys out there, for companies continue to get away with all types of shenanigans and the barristers getting rich at my expense.  

And guess who pays the bill one way or the other - you, the consumers.

Friday, July 13, 2012


It is unbelievable how weak the economy is in Miami Beach, in spite of all types of good news emanating from the cheerleaders of the land.

Call this sample unscientific, but the fact is, there are so many businesses closing all over the place, it is not funny. Even restaurants, which basically do well.

Mind you, even a McDonalds closed nearby. They say it will be renovated, but it looks quite terminal to me.

Funny that people are still dreaming, and new businesses are springing about, from karate studios, to more restaurants to boutiques.

In the building where I work, the turnover in offices is tremendous. A guy next to my office beat the record, his office was open for four short months.

It is impossible to keep up with the new comings and goings, and I basically gave up. The landlord must be renting offices for peanuts now.

At any rate, business revival might be coming for some, but very few.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A little suggestion to Miami Beach authorities

New technology allows governments to increase revenue. That is fact. I am not going to discuss whether I like this or don't, this is not the point.

The point is, technology should be used properly, at the proper places.

The use of cameras to fine folks who pass through red rights is pervasive in South Florida. Who has not gotten one of them tickets in the mail yet, with the nice camera shot and all?

Well I am making a suggestion to Miami Beach that will surely fill the city's treasury with a lot of dough.

There is a red light in the corner of 71st Street and Indian Creek, Eastbound, which is totally disregarded by a large number of drivers. I walk through it twice a day, and have seen way too many people simply disregarding it, at the expense of poor pedestrians. Including elderly folks, women with babies and etc.

Why not install one of those cameras to catch these guys, rather than putting them in places where there are no pedestrians?

MB will probably make me citizen of the year, once they discover how many drivers violate that corner.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sakura Japanese Buffet, North Bay Village

Jumbo Buffet at North Bay Village was a proverbial dump. The food was decent, but the restaurant, an old nightclub, was a bit run down. It was not expensive, which was good. Then one day, it simply closed.

For a long time there was a sign announcing a new Japanese Buffet would open in its place. Soon we found out it would be named Sakura, but in spite of a lit sign, the eatery remained shut for some time. I know, because I drive by it at least twice a week.

It finally opened, and my wife and I decided to find out about Sakura in North Bay Village. Consider this a review.

From the entrance, we could see the place was fully renovated, decorated. It was not simply built up, they obviously used an interior designer to do the place. Some of the decoration was excessive, downright tacky, but nice enough, especially in comparison to good ole Jumbo.

From the start, they seemed a bit disorganized. Three people offered to sit us, but only the third host actually did. The staff was obviously not Japanese, rather Chinese. Don't get me  wrong. I am no bigot and I have nothing against the Chinese, I am no sinophobic. However, the Chinese tend to do Chinese food well, the Japanese, do Japanese food well. The way it should be.

The guy that sat us rushed a drink order, then a waitress came to take a drink order. In fact, I could see a lot of waitresses walking about in utter confusion, from the time we came in, until we left. I was surprised there was no waitress crash.

Then, the food. Call it growing pains, I suppose. The sushi trays were mostly empty. The pieces themselves were not well put together, falling apart. The fish seemed fresh enough, although the crab legs were simply served frozen. Maybe it was crab ice cream, I don't know. The Japanese food was not all that.

As for the Chinese food, the variety was not great, and at least one dish was extremely hot, when it should not be. I did not try the hibachi, so I will not render a judgment.The desserts were indifferent.

All of this for US$21.95, and expensive drinks on the trot.

I do not recommend it. Had I been charged 10 bucks per person, I might have found the pricing OK, but honestly, one can eat at much better Japanese (Chinese) buffets a few miles from there, such as Miyako in Sunny Isles (Collins Avenue) and Ginza at US 1 and 163 for less money.

So, it seems like this was my first and last foray at Sakura.

Don't say you have not been warned.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stop payment

The world used to be a more straight forward affair.

Today, everything seems to be a game.

Here in South Florida, you travel on a road without toll booths, or signs indicating it is a toll road, a few days later you receive a notice indicating you need to pay a $0.25 toll, but because you did not have a transponder, a fee of US$10.00 has been added! Nice, this coming from the folks who are supposed to protect us and make sure there is a level and ethical playing field.

No wonder everybody plays games.

In the not so far old days, when you needed to stop payment on a check, you paid a fee and the check would be worthless henceforth, forever.

Nowadays, without your knowing or being aware, the stop payment "service" is renewed for many years, and a small fee charged accordingly.

It happened to me, and to be fair to my bank (I know not why I am being fair to it), assuming that every other bank is playing such monkey business, I will not say who they are. They might chase me, if you know what I mean.

So I suppose I am being forced to buy a transponder and pay a sizable amount of toll money in advance, to avoid surprise tolls, and stop using checks.

That is what it seems like.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On being a realist

Writing a blog such as this, on this day and age, is a bit like journaling.  I might be the only one reading these words.

Yes, I know, blogs are posted publicly on the internet. Amidst millions, who knows, billions of other sites. A competitor I have has almost 80 individual sites, all of which say pretty much the same thing! Yes, I know, this violates google's design guidelines. In fact, he violates many others, this nasty little bugger, but no one seems to notice. So, potentially, if every person on Earth were to have 80 different sites, multiply that by 7 billion...

I know, that is silly. Poor people in Swaziland and Papua New Guinea, many of whom do not read or write, do not have sites. I am just saying... Look at Facebook. They claim 500 million users. Yet, there are so many fakes in there, that I suppose the real users are about 100 million.

Back to writing for myself.

I do not trust these pages here will launch a budding writing career. No sir. The whole notion that you can rise from nothing to somebody on the Internet, is a fable.

There are professional clickers in India, whose only work is clicking on Youtube videos. That is how a nobody can reach a viral magical number of 1 million views, most of the time! Videos are also spread illegally as SPAM. The very same people that write letters to D.A. offices complaining they got a SPAM message from a small company, spread these videos, sending the messages to their friends so on. Many of which contain hidden advertising, by the way.

The point being, those nice clickers in India make peanuts, yet, the company charges handsomely. It costs, good money is spent.

Sure, there are all types of software that does the work for free. However, sites seem to know robots, and block them. So they say. I am not sure of that.

Then supposedly there even professional clickers who charge to click on publishers pay-per-click ads, also illegally. Given that this involves money, not only free Youtube fame, things get more interesting, and supposedly this type of behavior gets punished right away. Money always seems to drive competence.

My point is, whatever the situation, unless you are extremely popular, and only very rich people are extremely popular, you had to have some money to get those millions of artificial hits on youtube. So it is always about money, one way, or another. Nobodies do not have tons of money.

Leading me to think that this is more of a psychological exercise than anything. Honing my skills? Maybe. Wasting my time? Quite possibly. But at least, getting it out of the system.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Donald Duck's tomato

It is really weird how an image from childhood sticks to you.

I remember reading a comic book story, a Donald Duck story, where my favorite duck was growing tomatoes for a contest of some sort. I don't remember the end of the story - most likely Donald had some type of problem, as almost always - but all I can recall is his happiness with the large creatures.

So I can't help, to this day, whenever I see a large, plump tomato, I think of Donald Duck and smile.

This was obviously a Carl Barks drawn story. I have sought it in comic books, in fact, bought a large part of the Donald Duck reprint collection, to no avail.

My soul will not rest until I find the Donald Duck tomato story.

Then again, I might stop looking. The whole thing might sound very stupid, today, and break the magic.

Let us give Donald Duck's big tomato the rest it is due.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hey and Um

I confess that certain things tick me off about movie scripts.

Take "hey".

Ok, people do say "hey" when they meet today. However, when you have a movie that is supposed to have taken place in the 60's, 70's, and people say "hey" when they meet, it sounds strange. The cars are right, the clothes are right, the hair is right. The "hey" isn't. Just watch any movies from the 70's, and you will not see (or hear) anybody saying "hey".

Then there is the "um".

I don't know if there is any new acting school that says that good acting is saying "um" every three words. Certain actors and actresses abuse the "um" so much, that it sounds as if their parts are written with 1500 "ums" intercalated with a few real words.

Get real!

One of those things

We live in the information age.

There is a big but. A lot of the information out there is either exaggerated, distorted, biased or simply untrue.

Yet, people swear by such pieces of information. Because most people do not know how to connect the dot, and can fall for anything.

Mind you, I am not talking about people who are high school dropouts. I am talking about people who have a lot of schooling, in this case I am talking about more than one masters degree, and have even written books. Yes, indeed.

I understand, people cannot know everything. To be honest, the more you know, the more you should be aware that you don't know. The real problem is when people say that something exists, matter of factly, when they are lies.

Somebody told me the other day that a certain fast food chain's burgers are made of snail meat, giant snails grown in farms. I think he believes it. On to something more serious.

Then I meet another person, who impresses me greatly with his culture, poise and reasoning. Then the guy starts ranting about the Illuminatti, then tells me that one family, the Rothschilds, has 50 % of the worlds money!!!!

I did not know the Rothschilds were Chinese or Saudis...

At any rate, this type of assertion might be fitting around 1642, but we are in 2012!!!

In a sense, I am relieved. Because I was just so fascinated with this individual, that it worried me. I like to have some critical sense when I converse with somebody, even if it does not result in an argument or long discussions. For internal use.

Now I need not worry anymore.

I still consider him intelligent, cultured, and all, but far from flawless.