Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Go Ahead.. Say it.. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year all you crazy people whom I call friends, even those who might be offended with the term "Happy New Year". I mean not to offend, I realize some of you don't celebrate New Years until Feb and some of you tend not to celebrate at all, unless you consider drinking to a psychoneurotic vomitary state a celebration. Don't answer that, I regrettably know the answer already. Regardless, I won't be able to celebrate with you this year as I'll be on a plane, but I'll be thinking of you all, well most of you.

I hope 2009 brings you all happiness and understanding.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do YOU Believe??

Here's a good watch.. it's 90 minutes long, but an incredible documentary on the topic of UFOs.

I think we should revisit the discussion..

Who's in?

LINK FOR VIDEO HERE

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Great Chili Contest

I won. Watch the competition's reaction to the news:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stochastic Drivel

This entry is about nothing.. so far anyway. I am writing it with absolutely no goal in mind, and I'm hoping that in a few sentences I'll have something to write about.

Let's see.. Today I went to Sunny Noodle, one of the best lunch destinations in downtown Calgary, only I no longer work in the core so it makes it a little difficult to get to, but I will always make the pilgrimage when invited. Thanks for the invite Gord.

Quite a wind blew through Calgary this afternoon, I see chunks of plastic missing from gas station signs and stuff, and I have to think, I mean, so many leaves left the trees today in that blow.. and if you think of the trillions of leaves in this city, where do they all go? You would think we would be knee deep in leaves, but scarcely a few of them on the streets.. maybe they made it all the way to Saskabush.

For the last few weeks, I hated washing my hair cause the stupid shampoo bottle I use has this flip lid that is really really hard to open, like kryptonite hard. I curse and swear at the pain of the near departure of my thumbnail every time I open that piece of crap. Then, a dim light bulb lit up, and a solution came to me like a laser guided bomb.. So.. i'm gonna start just leaving the stupid lid open. (duh?)


Now this is interesting. Ford has this new gadget called "MyKey" which is a special car key a parent gives to their kid which puts a max speed limit of 80km/h and the stereo volume to max of 44%. It will also let out a loud annoying squeal until the seat belt is on. Available soon.. I wonder if future versions will start honking the horn when it detects back seat activities?

Mail goggles by gmail. A feature on gmail which you can enable to prevent you from sending a drunk email. If the feature is enabled on your account it will ask you a bunch of questions which will be very difficult to answer when in a nimptopsical state. Feature is enabled at late hours and on weekends only.

G4 Tech TV is awesome. A show with a contest of who can eat the most peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, then the top three move on to the merry go round, then an ambrosia salad contest.. and the one who pukes the least wins.

Oh yea, my Chili is better than Darren's.. My new name for it is Xhili. X for AleX, X for Xtreme. X for Don't screw with the chili master.

Peace. Especially to the cast and crew of "Quarantine"

AS

Monday, October 6, 2008

Telemarketer Time Waster

I gotta phone call on saturday afternoon.. decided to have a chat..


Friday, October 3, 2008

Anatomy of a Scam - Part III

This is part 3 of a feature I am writing about called "Anatomy of a Scam". You can find part 1 here.

Update. Van Dick wrote back already.. this is quite interesting as he gave me a number to call him instead of trying to call me.

Here it is..

----------------------

Carl,

below is the information of the bank copy and send to the email below.and you can reach me on this number ,any time (number blocked)



Bank:SNS BANK
WEB:WWW. SNSBANK.NL
Email.(email blocked)
TEL:(Number Blocked)
Fax:(Number Blocked)

Dear Sir/Madam

Application as next of kin to the holder of account number :# (Blocked). ,I Carl Meyer of (Address Blocked) Seattle, WA 98121 USA humbly apply to this bank this today the 03-10-2008 as next of kin to your deceased customer Late Mr.David meyer ,I humbly apply putting claim over his balance with this bank valued at $18M , Left in account number; # (Blocked)

I also wish my application will be given an urgent attention as I wish this balance be released and Re-transferred into my account which i will provide once the confirm of the the received on this mail .

Accept my apologies for the late application, it was due to some family problems which have just been settled.

Thanks in anticipation of your cooperation.

Yours Faithfully,

Carl Meyer

-------------------------------------------------

So basically he wants me to send this pre-made email (signed with my name) to the new email address supposedly belonging to a bank in the Netherlands called SNS Bank. Included in the email is an apology for the "late application" nice touch.

I did some analysis on the email, and found it to be originating in Haarlem NL through an Internet Service Provider called "UPCLive".

I'll try to call him later. (Recorded of course for your listening pleasure)

Anatomy of a Scam - Part II

This is part 2 of a feature I am writing about called "Anatomy of a Scam". You can find part 1 here.

Update: Yesterday Mr Dick found some time to send me (Carl Meyer) a reply.. here it is:

Dear Carl Meyer

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your mail with thanks.The last name is meyer and funds is in united states dollars in the bank

My late clients until his death was an oil contractor but unfortunately died inter estate i.e without a will. From my investigation, there is no known relative of my late client.

All I need now is your cooperation to file in your name as the next of kin because in the record there is no known successor to this deposit of ($18 million Dollars) the deceased who died without a will and based on the situation at hand due to time constraint, if this fund is not claimed the government will seize this fund.

All documents relating to this transaction will be given to you as we progress.
I want this done so that I can use a good part of my share for helping the poor and the needy and for charity works. You shall receive 45% of the total funds for your assistance.

However, I must assure you that this transaction is safe and all modalities is in place to ensure that this is done in a legitimate way without a single breach of law. Based on your maximum cooperation, we will finalise this transaction within ten working days.

I shall require your FULL NAME , CONTACT ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER to enble file for the inheritance and start the process of claim in this regard.

Again I guarantee that all is under control and you have nothing to worry about, Just grant to me your full cooperation and keep this transaction close at heart.
.
Barr Van Dick
Attorney


Lets take a look at this in detail:

Dear Carl Meyer (that's me)

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your mail with thanks.(Your Welcome! So polite) The last name is meyer (No shit?) and funds is in united states dollars in the bank (Answers my two questions from the last mail, not very good english though)

My late clients until his death was an oil contractor but unfortunately died inter estate i.e without a will. From my investigation, there is no known relative of my late client. (Which is funny cause I purposely chose a very common name which when googled, produces over 40,000 hits)

All I need now is your cooperation to file in your name as the next of kin because in the record there is no known successor to this deposit of $18 million Dollars (That is a lot of money, scam directive of "Dazzle") the deceased who died without a will and based on the situation at hand due to time constraint, if this fund is not claimed the government will seize this fund. (Here is the classic scam directive of HURRY HURRY)

All documents relating to this transaction will be given to you as we progress.
I want this done so that I can use a good part of my share for helping the poor and the needy and for charity works. (scam directive: sympathy. Builds trust, awww must be a nice guy!) You shall receive 45% of the total funds for your assistance. (ok so 8 million.. not bad. Besides, a "good part" of the rest is going to the poor and needy)

However, I must assure you that this transaction is safe (Scam directive: Peace of Mind) and all modalities is (Dude has a problem with the word "are") in place to ensure that this is done in a legitimate way without a single breach of law. Based on your maximum cooperation, we will finalise this transaction within ten working days. (That's not bad, all this in 10 days? Better Hurry! Glad it's Safe.. WOW all that money!! Such a nice guy)

I shall require your FULL NAME , CONTACT ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER to enble file for the inheritance and start the process of claim in this regard. (Yea, I might be able to comply with this)

Again I guarantee that all is under control and you have nothing to worry about, Just grant to me your full cooperation and keep this transaction close at heart. (As in, don't tell anyone? Ok... all those blog readers, please keep this to yourself.)
.
Barr Van Dick
Attorney



Here is my reply:

Barr Van Dick,

Thank you for your reply. I am excited about the possible outcome of this transaction as you could probably imagine!

Here is my Information:

Carl Meyer
(False contact information provided but removed from this post)

I look forward to hearing from you further!

Carl M
-------------------------------

It is quite possible that the scam will end at this point as I chose not to provide real contact information. I did provide a real world address and phone number which is easily google-able and will match with the local I chose (Seattle WA) but if Van DICK decides to make a phone call as his next phase, it will be over. Let's wait and see what happens.

CM. er.. AS.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Hate Telemarketers

hate

verb (used with object)

1.

to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate stupid people who call people during supper time to try and sell something.

I feel extreme hostility towards them. I hate telemarketers with a passion. I detest them. The good news is, that starting today The CRTC has started a “Do Not Call List” where you can register your phone number, and within 31 days you should no longer be disturbed by these “people”. It’s a good day, the ongoing war on stupidity just allowed for a notch on the side of sanity.

Without delay.. Go here: https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/ and register your number. It’s easy to do and very fast.

Tell them Alex sent you and you’ll get 2% off prime on your next Citibank Credit card already pre-approved in your name and waiting with a gazillion dollar limit which can be used on the cruise you won for being the one millionth website visitor. Of course you’ll have to first stay at one of our fantastic international time share destinations and listen to a presentation by one of our high pressure sales associates, featured in a swim suit on the 13th page of a complimentary Calgary Sun subscription which they will just deliver to your door for you every morning, which you can cancel at any time, however if you don’t cancel you will back charged to 10 years, but don’t worry to much about that cause we will provide you with a credit risk report free for one year which will tell you when things like this can happen. We’ll just need your credit card for age verification, and so we know the address of we can send you a DustGhost 3000 that not only vacuums your carpets but removes the evil spirits from your house.

Idiots.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Anatomy of a Scam

The point of this exercise is show the readers out there exactly how someone might attempt to pull off a scam using email. I intend to have a little fun with this and see how far I can take it without of course, sending any money or real information of any kind (besides my cell number, more on that later)

Ok, let's get started.

This morning, I received a letter on one of my email accounts. Here it is:

-----------------------------

I am Van Dick

An attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, that
shares the same last name as yours, died as the result of a heart-related condition on
March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all
the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in
Sumatra Indonesia .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake
I can be reached on (BLOCKED)@aol.com
My late Client has a deposit of Eighteen Million
Dollars ( US$18 Million Dollars) left behind.
Best regards,
Van Dick
Attorney at Law
(BLOCKED)@aol.com

-----------------------------

What? Interesting..!! Someone with the same last name as me died from a heart attack, apparently from due to the death of all the members of his family in the tsunami of Dec 2004? Wow! there must be some mistake! But.. there's 18 million dollars left behind.. doesn't say what for exactly, but I'm curious... So.. I'd be an idiot not to reply at least to get a little more information, besides he IS a lawyer after all, and actually sounds dutch.

Here's my reply: (Sent Sept 29th 2008 @ 10:30am)


-----------------------------

Mr Van Dick,

Thank you for your email!

I would be highly interested to a little more about my relative's intent with the 18 million dollars left behind. Could you answer a few questions for me?

1. What denomination is the Money? is it US funds?
2. What was his name?

I look forward to your reply
Carl Meyer

---------------------------

Keeping it simple as possible, using a fake name (and matching fake email address). Let's see where this goes... stay tuned. This is happening in real time.

Alex.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Canadian Federal Election 2008

Calgary West Candidates

It's that time again, where we all pretend we know what we want and go to the polls to mark an X to the left of the person to whom we think deserves the position of representing our riding as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. The election is on Oct 14th

It MIGHT be a good idea to do just a little bit research on who you are throwing down an "X" for, so I compiled the list of who's who for my riding "Calgary West".

Calgary West has five candidates.

Conservative - Rob Anders
Link to site


Rob Anders obtained a political science degree from the University of Calgary, where he distinguished himself as a strong voice in student politics.

Prior to entering politics, Rob pursued his passion for public policy by working for the National Citizens Coalition, a public interest group dedicated to government accountability. He was also on the Speaker's Bureau of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

Rob was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 by the people of Calgary West, and has been re-elected three times.

As an MP, Rob has served as Critic for Senate and Patronage. He created and chaired the Elected Senate Action Team, a task force aimed at advancing the cause of senate reform in Canada.

Rob has also been a high-profile voice against the repression of 70 million Falun Gong practitioners, and organized a letter campaign directed at China's President on behalf of Canadian Members of Parliament. He has also lent his voice to international human rights causes such as Tibetan freedom, religious freedom and democracy in Vietnam and Taiwanese independence.

Rob is currently chair of the House Committee on Veteran Affairs where he played a critical role in the establishment of a Veteran's Ombudsman.

Liberal - Jennifer Pollock
Link to site


Jennifer Pollock is best known as a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Calgary Board of Education. She was elected Trustee for three terms, representing Wards 1 & 2 in Northwest Calgary.

Socially and politically, Calgary West is Jennifer's home. She has raised 4 children in the area, Robert, Stephen, Emily and Richard, all of whom are either at university or still playing Junior hockey. She is 49 years old and a spouse of lawyer Dennis Nerland for over 25 years.

As an active volunteer, Jennifer has a long active volunteer history of being responsive to concerns and knowledgeable of needs in the community. She is someone who will listen and act. In the past, she has taught in Africa with CUSO, officiated at the 1988 Olympics and organized a Reading Roundup for children at the Calgary Stampede. Through the Junior League, she developed school programs for AADAC. With 4 hockey players, she frequently volunteered for team responsibilities and also on the Board of the Trails West Hockey Assoc and Girls Hockey Calgary, Midget Committee. She is a founding director of the Power Play Institute for Hockey Prospects. She sat on School Councils, Home and School, Calgary Parks and Recreation Board and the Alberta School Boards Assoc. Currently she is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Association of Women Lawyers and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Calgary.

Jennifer Pollock is a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Calgary Board of Education. The Public Board educates 100,000 students in over 230 schools on a budget in excess of $500,000,000. In 1998, Jennifer was elected with a record 24,117 votes.

Jennifer is a lawyer. At age 44, she was accepted to U of C Law School, completing her L.L.B. in 2003. Last year she successfully completed her articles and was called to the Alberta Bar. Her first degree, obtained in 1977, is a B.Sc. in Zoology.

Trained as an interest based negotiator and facilitator for collaborative decision making, Jennifer uses a win-win approach in law and politics.

WHY SHE IS RUNNING FOR CALGARY WEST
Jennifer believes Calgary West deserves an effective leader and responsible spokesperson that will be visible in Calgary and Ottawa. She is frustrated to see the views of Calgarians and western Canadians marginalized by the national parties and the media as a result of the current representative.

Jennifer believes that the Canadian government does have an impact on the reputation, culture, economy, health, education, environment and security of Canada and its citizens. She is running because she is concerned that the nature and quality of life of Canadians is currently at risk. She believes that she has the skills and experience that will be required to work constructively with fellow MPs to address the challenging issues facing the country. She hopes her participation in the democratic process will encourage fellow citizens to get involved.


NDP - Teale Phelps Bondaroff
Link to site


Teale Phelps-Bondaroff, a native Calgarian, is a fourth year student at the University of Calgary, where he is pursuing a degree in political science honours and international relations. He was also the NDP Candidate for Calgary West in 2006 at the age of 19, when he received over 5000 votes, or 8.3% of the vote.

Teale has been active on the University of Calgary Student’s Union as an elected official for the past two years, and is active in student politics. He is president of the University of Calgary Debate Society and the University of Calgary Model United Nations team, and he competes in debate and model United Nations competitions at the local, national and, international level. His interest in world politics has taken him across North America. He was given the honour of representing his city at the Global Young Leaders Conference, in Washington and New York in 2003.

He has received numerous scholarships and awards, including the Chancellors Scholarship from the University of Calgary, and the millennium scholarship. Phelps-Bondaroff is dedicated to the environment and sustainability. His academic interest and thesis focus on the political strategy of environmental movements and organisations, and he is active in the local environmental community. Phelps-Bondaroff is trilingual. He earned a French diploma from William Aberhart High School, and has studied Spanish at university and abroad. He is a supporter and promoter of the arts, and has been a presenter at the Calgary Young Writers Conference. He is also an avid cartoonist, sculptor, and plays the flute and piccolo.

Green - Randall Weeks
Link to site


Biography:

Introduction:
• Born on 06 August 1961 in Edmonton Alberta. Third generation Albertan.
• Grew up in a working class family in Northeast Edmonton.
• Have lived in Calgary since 1987, 10 years in Calgary West.

Education:
• Graduated high school with a matriculation diploma in 1979.
• Studied Earth Sciences (petroleum exploration geology) at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; graduated with a diploma in Petroleum Technology in 1981.

Career:
• Began career working for the Alberta Energy & Utilities Board; initially as a field inspector in Edmonton. Transferred to Calgary in 1987 to work in the EUB head office.
• Left the EUB in 1990 to work in corporate Calgary in various capacities including Auditor, and Marketing Analyst.
• In 1994 became Owner / Operator of a small business specializing in computer training for children. Terminated this enterprise in 1996 and returned to corporate employment.
• Currently working as an Audit Supervisor for a Large Oil and Gas Corporation.

General / Personal:
• Father of 4 children.
• Secular Humanist libertarian yoga enthusiast.
• Voracious researcher, reader and correspondent.
• Well traveled within Canada and internationally.
• Physically and mentally sound, fit and active.
• Direct experience in small business and large corporate environments.
• Vocal & enthusiastic promoter of personal and corporate stewardship of the environment, sustainability, peace and preventative health.
• Conservative, in that I believe in not being wasteful and conserving resources for future generations.


Missing from my bio and resume is mention of my involvement with any charitable organization, special interest group or volunteer work. In the past I have been occupied with family and career concerns. Only now am I prepared to commit myself to giving back to the community and the planet. In the past I have had a mostly materialist focus; over time this has evolved into a concern for matters much larger.


At this time I define my “contribution” not by what I give, but instead by what I do not consume. My personal philosophy is “first, do no harm”. My family and I strive to live a life where we minimize our impact on the environment and utilize the fewest resources. At this time I am deeply dissatisfied with my contribution to the corporate profit mindset and my involvement with the oil industry. I am ready to move on, deepen my commitment do no harm and heighten my efforts to encourage other to do the same.

I don’t see the environmental movement as a “feel good, do good” endeavor; rather I see it as an awakening to the harm we are doing and a commitment to stop.



Independent - Kirk Schmidt
Link to site

Kirk Schmidt has been actively involved in politics for a number of years. For the past two federal elections, he has worked on a non-partisan internet portal called Our Vote, an information resource developed to complement electoral information available through Elections Canada. Our Vote addresses issues concerning the difficulty of obtaining party and policy information, which has been cited as a reason for lack of voter turnout.

Kirk also acted as Campaign Manager and Official Agent for a candidate in the 2004 Alberta Provincial Election. Between elections he takes on the role of armchair political analyst, commentating on bills in the House of Commons as well as political jockeying in Parliament. Kirk's political knowledge comes from his voracious appetite for collecting and reading books on Canadian politics, as well as his observations of everyday political affairs across the country.

Born and raised in the City of Lethbridge, Kirk moved to Calgary shortly after receiving his university degree, along with his wife, Robyn. Currently, he works as an IT Analyst for a major charity, and holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo.

Kirk also enjoys spending his time as a volunteer. Recently, he has completed computer-related projects for the Calgary Youth Justice Society as well as the SHARP Foundation. In the past he has also worked with community theatre groups, held positions on a number of academic councils and Boards of Directors, and has worked with Chambers of Commerce.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Elvis

Another pseudonym: Elvis. And no, I'm not dead.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Singing in Vegas

So, for a short stint I did this singing gig in vegas.. yes it was a long time ago, and I'm not overly proud of it. My most popular number was this one called "Wailing in the Rain" my tribute to Debbie Reynolds. It was first done as a bit of a joke but my agent said GO WITH IT.. so I did. It ran for 45 consecutive weeks at the Gold Nugget Hotel and Casino. I eventually quit citing "wet dresses and high heels" were just not my thing anymore. I made a lot of money at this time, but then lost it all on a single hand of blackjack. Note to self.. never ask for hit on 20.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Black Holes and Revelations


The above image is the "Google" image du jour, and has become my favorite Google Logo Art. In a nut shell, CERN is turning on the Large Hadron Collider today, and it's been speculated that the experiments could cause a black hole right here on earth causing unknown disasters including the destruction of the planet itself. I think the Google Logo artist had some fun with this one as they made it look like "Google" was being sucked into said black hole. Awesome.
Keep an eye out for anything strange in the next few days, such as Deja Vu, unexplainable coincidences etc.. We might also be switching in between parallel universes so if all of a sudden you notice you have a different spouse.. well.. just wait a few days.

Alex.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Treadmilling In Space
































So, this is me in the International Space Station.. I was up there for six months when this picture was taken by my ship mate. I politely asked him not to take any pictures, but he snuck this one in, what a dork.
Space changes you, what can I say. You can see how long hair can get in a zero gravity, it's nuts. Uncontrollable flyaway hair.
So treadmilling in space is a necessity to keep our muscles from atrophy. The bungies are set to pull us down onto the treadmill track at our body weight, but we frequently changed the settings as a gag. I once set my buddies bungies to be 500 lbs.. oh man.. now there's a picture I should dig out.
Anyway.. I'll check around for a few more pictures of my super adventurous life. Any requests?
Alex.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Missy's Challenge



































On my last "Presidential Handshake" post, Missy challenged me to "Go Scuba Diving".

Ok Missy.. that one WAS a bit challenging.
(But you know I love a challenge)

Back to my last day @ telus..

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Alex in Washington DC



















Got to meet Dubya!
Ok ok.. I know what you're thinking. I really had to suck in my gut to get in that suit and when Bush shook my hand it aged quickly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

LAX Security Incident

Welcome Facebookers.. I'm happy to have piqued your curiosity!

Short story long..

LAX is a crazy place, being as its huge, busy, and confusing, forcing me to be a little on edge constantly making sure I don't do anything unintentionally stupid. If you know me well you'll know sometimes stupid happens to me in crazy ways, even after attempting to mitigate all angles of it.

This story is no exception to that law which seems to plague me where ever I seem to go. I don't question it anymore, but rather revel in it's insolubility. It's not bad luck, it's entertainment.

I return my rental car, take a shuttle to terminal two of LAX and check in my bag with WestJet counter. They send me to another place where I have to leave my tagged bag into a special bag pre-screening xray, I am asked for my boarding pass there, I show it. I then leave with my carry on (laptop bag) and head for the gates.

Before arriving at security, I am pre-screened for boarding pass again at the elevators leading up to security. At the top of the elevators I am checked again for my boarding pass and told which line to stand in. While in line I pass a table where again I am checked AGAIN for my boarding pass and asked the "fluid" question, to which I reply no.. no fluids. Ok.. very good carry on. I am now putting my metals in the bin, laptop removed and shoes off. I leave my boarding pass IN MY BAG thinking.. there is no way they need to CHECK IT AGAIN.. IS THERE? Apparently I was incorrect in that line of thinking, as my bag was going through the guy asks me for my boarding pass, I mention that it was in my bag in the xray. He lets out a big sigh and shouts "ATTENTION LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASSES READY FOR INSPECTION AND DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN YOUR BAGS" Then he mentions something about "NO BOARDING PASS ON LANE SIX.. CODE (blah blah blah)" Now I'm on edge. He tells me to wait behind the red line, so I do, but that's it no more instructions, so I wait while others behind me proceed. Nothing seems to be happening and my bag, shoes, laptop and boarding pass are still on the otherside of the warzone, piling up on the end with the others. What happens next happens very fast.. and I almost got shot.

A very friendly old man who was behind me had some sympathy for my case and decided to take it upon HIMSELF to mitigate the security checkpoint to RETRIEVE my boarding pass. He goes through security, goes back to collect his goods and then points to my bag and looks at me with a question on his face like to say 'Is this your bag?' I had no idea what he was about to do, but I thought that if I shook my head, he would just continue to point at bags, so I nod. Mistake. He grabs the bag and walks towards me. Now you have to understand, the security at LAX is like a fortress, nothing like what you find in Canada. If you don't exactly what your asked you go to jail. So enter slow motion. This old guy who already cleared security is reversing back and coming towards me with MY BAG in his hands. It was a miracle he made it as far as he did. He made it all the way to the six foot high plexiglass wall which separated unsecure zone (me) and secure zone (him) and then tried to PASS ME MY BAG OVER THE GLASS. I am holding up my hands in a NOOOOOOOOO expression, but I think he understood it as HURRY THROW ME THE BAG BEFORE THEY SEE.. Holy shit. Enter super slow motion. Someone somewhere hits a big red button (I didn't see the button, but i'm pretty sure it's big.. and bright red.) an alarm starts whooping, and an obviously well rehearsed sequence of events begins to unfold before my eyes. All eyes on me, my bag, and an old guy, The bag is exactly on the top of the glass and I am TRYING to push it back towards him in a DON'T GIVE ME THE BAG kind of way, but he is confused.. thinking, WHY DON'T YOU WANT YOUR BAG?? So now. it looks like that I am HANDING AN OLD GUY A BAG THAT HASN'T BEEN SECURED. Before I could say anything there was a guy on me, a guy on the old guy and two guys on my bag. All security belts stopped all people stopped. We are all stop. As I was waiting for the tazer to nail me in the back the old guy throws me under the bus.. "ITS NOT MY BAG!!!" He says in a freak out kind of way as he is being led to a secure room. I go to a little special place as well, and my bag comes in a few minutes later. I ask the guard to make sure my MacBook is still on the belt, he checks and retrieves it for me, and my shoes come as well. He mentions that the video was reviewed and I'm good to go, bu warning warning blah blah blah. I leave and walk past a room where old guy is being blasted by guards. I do not know what came of him. I waited a while for him to show up to thank him for his good intentions, but he never came out. I think it might be better that way. For all I know he's still there. He just wanted to give me my boarding pass. ;-) Kudos to the old guy, but holy hanna.. don't screw with LAX security. ;-)

That's my story.

AS.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Expert Series - Introduction

Welcome all you fellow addicted netzians, welcome. This post is for you! 

For the last couple of years I have always wanted to do a series of posts called "Expert Series". Each post would focus on an area of the Internet and how to use it effectively, bettering your Internet experience and delivering the 7th degree black belt training and certification you deserve on topics such as "Going a Googlin" or "Wiki is your Friend Indeed" or "How to Download Using Torrent Client" and a whole lot more. 

Yes, I am the expert, self proclaimed and publicly acclaimed. I have been working with the Internet both professionally and personally since it's public availability back in 1989, most of which is credit to my dad who always seemed to be willing to upgrade our home computer system to allow for such study, and ever since seeing the "You are now connected" BBS message appear on my screen following the loud squawks of the 1200 baud modem, I knew I was hooked. Kudos to the Pops! Upon moving out in 1994, Leona always put up with the need to indulge with the latest and greatest when it came to computers and internet subscriptions, so she too.. helped me out in this regard. Kudos to her as well. 

Nineteen years later, I have amassed an incredible amount of know-how, wisdoms and well I just know how to do a lot of cool stuff on the net while avoiding the bad* stuff.  I'd love to share with you my experiences, so.. stick around, keep an eye out for the Expert Series,  written in plain and simple english (the only kind I know) and guaranteed to add 8 points to your IQ. Seriously. 

*"Bad" is subjective of course, what is "bad" to some is "good" to others. What I mean here is dangerous and damaging content.




Monday, August 11, 2008

Yo, Loud Truck Guy..

What is it about your anatomy is so under developed that you wish to compensate with your loud ass truck? Could please take your lack of respect attitude, roll it up and shove it up your pipe sideways? Please? And I don't mean your piece of crap exhaust pipe although it be great to see something stuck up there as well, the people that raised you.

You all know this guy. You see him in his big american truck, 24" lift kit, big knobby wheels, light bar, bush bar.. no freaking exhaust, nailing the gas pedal at every opportunity to show off how BIG he is, the louder the better, the more smoke the better, the more annoyed faces around him the better, seemingly being fueled by it. This guy is built to annoy, there is no there better explanation I can think of, and I'm pretty damn logical guy (who drives a civic with stock exhaust)

Mr Loud Truck Guy is also very stereotypical. He (being I have never seen a "she" exhibiting this behaviour) is most likely to be:
1. White
2. Short Shaved Hair (with or without a handkerchief on head)
3. Tattoo of some bad ass subject matter on his back extending from shoulder to shoulder
4. No shirt (or wifebeater with mustard stains)
5. Pants are Mandatory (being as they secure the endowment socks)
6. Facial Hair of some sort
7. No Smile
8. Left Arm resting on open window

I swear to you I found this video after writing the above description

I thought about it, I thought there MUST be an explanation for such behaviour, short of criminal, although I'm sure there is some aspect of criminality to it, so I went a googlin'.. a googlin' I went. (For all you who think I'm smart.. here's my secret, I'm an idiot that just knows how to google.)

First a little science on "Modified Mufflers" (taken from here)

Most of the vehicles on the road use combustion engines. Fuel explodes in cylinders 1000 times/min (for 4-stroke, 2-cylinder engines at 1,000 rpm) creating sound with 16.7 Hz fundamental frequency and many harmonics. Without an engine block/enclosure and muffler these explosions will be very noisy (194 dB at close distance) and deadly. No wonder that vehicles with modified mufflers or straight pipes can produce sound levels which are deafening (up to 120 dB at 15.2 m distance) and are up to 40 dB louder than vehicles equipped with stock mufflers, which meet Canadian Standards (about 80 dB at 15.2 m distance - Transport Canada Regulations, Standard # 1106) To illustrate this: a modified vehicle which produces a 10 dB louder sound is as loud as 10 standard vehicles , 20 dB louder => 100 vehicles, 30 dB louder => 1000 vehicles, 40 dB louder => 10,000 vehicles. As can be seen from this example these vehicles can significantly increase the noise levels in the city.

Lets try and find a few psychological reasons for this behaviour. Yes, lets.

For Attention. (National Youth Network) 

"It has been found in a number of youth and those older, a certain need for attention is necessary in order for them to feel loved, this born from a lack for love and attention in the earlier years of life from the parents, siblings and/or guardians. Unfortunately, this attention seeking will usually manifest itself in misbehaviors ranging from misdemeanors to crimes of a more serious nature. If this lack of attention is combined with a small penis, cheap beer and a wifebeater, the result is a unabated desire to remove the shirt from your back, the muffler from your truck, the logic from logical, and for the love of everything sacred.. remove the respect for your fellow man. The result is none other than Loud Truck Guy."

My Pledge:
I will find out where you live LTG, and when I do I will figure out some way (and I will too.. I'll figure it out, most likely by going a googlin') to pound your house with the sound of 10,000 ravens/crows/magpies at oh.. I dunno.. around 4:30 in the morning. (ok I just googled 10,000 crows.. this came up) Then you'll come a runnin, you'll come a runnin' out of your mobile home with the look of murder upon your unattentioned ass, but you'll be good and drunk at about this time of the morning, and won't get past your plastic fence. 

Need I say more? Need I? I think not. Loud Truck Guy, at a small town near you.  

Please comment if you are willing to help me out with the pledge. 

Yours so very truly.
AS





Monday, August 4, 2008

Why I Hope Obama Wins

It's not really characteristic of myself to post about american politics, or anything political, or american for that matter, so.. this is rare. I thought I would whip up a quick post on why I hope Obama wins the big erection.

1. McCain is a double talking puppet with no spine.

2. Obama as president would make for some good TV, not that I watch much, but a guy that is smart enough to write his own speeches might actually be smart enough to fix a few problems.

3. Don't you think the old war dudes are becoming cliche? OOOooo I spent time in a PoW camp, vote for me vote for me.. I'm a survivor.

Also.. while we're on the topic, let's talk about Iraq. At first, way back in the day, I was sold on the invasion of Iraq, but then after really thinking about it, I think I just liked watching things blow up on TV in green nightvision.. that was kind of cool. Now I just see it as a pointless war fueled by fuel and justified by religion..meh, I'm happy canadians chose not to go, actually no.. I'm damn happy and proud of it.

And a note to all those (and I'm always surprised by actually HOW MANY americans say this, and mean it) who say, "Well how can you vote someone who's name sounds like Osama and who's middle name is Hussien"?? Whaaaaat? This is true.. people actually think this. I can't even imagine why, I simply can't understand the mentality of this.. it's like saying "McCain is like frozen pizza.. I cannot think of anything else but frozen pizza when I say McCain. How can I vote for a frozen pizza? This is crazy!! AAAHHHHGG I can't VOTE FOR A PIZZA!! WHAT AM I GONNA DO??" I am completely at a loss of understanding.

sigh.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Allez Cuisine!!

To all those Food TV watchers out there, you all know the show "Iron Chef America". It's one of my favorite shows for a few reasons; first of all you have the manipulation of some of the best ingredients in the world conjured into edible delights by some of the best chefs in the world. You have host Alton Brown and Kevin Brauch the floor reporter, and of course the back flipping apple eating Japanese chairman mixing up the verbal ingredients. Alton is by far one of the best TV hosts using his seemingly endless knowledge of the ingredients being tossed around Kitchen Stadium in a very informative and entertaining way.
Last night Leo and I were watching "Battle Apple", and they finally decided to mix things up with the judges, inviting rapper "Bone Crusher" to sit in the middle position. This was one of the most entertaining judging ever, breaking the otherwise lame part of the show with the serious judging and condescending comments by the regular line up. Bone Crusher actually finished his plates, drank his drinks and had throughly good time. When the soup wasn't good, he would just say "The soup just isn't doing it for me".
After watching Bone Crusher's judging I thought to myself.. I could be a judge, and I pondered, if I were a judge, if I could pick my secret ingredient, and if I could pick the chefs what would it be? I asked Leo what ingredient she would choose and without hesitation she said "Cheese". It wasn't that easy for me. I couldn't sleep.. then it came to me, the one thing I enjoy the most when I eat food is the spice. Here is my Fantasy Iron Chef Line up:

Battle: Chilli Habenero
Iron Chef: Bobby Flay (He's the best griller out there..)
Challenger Chef: Darren Clark (Cause seeing a Clark vs Flay battle would be AWESOME)
Feature: Mixologists making drinks - Spicy? perhaps.. Cool down? even better..
Judges: Myself, Rachel Ray (Peppers make you sweat) and Ricky Gervais

My Challenge is for you comment with your own Fantasy Chef Line up!!

AS

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tabula Rasa

I think a five week break should do it.

During these last five weeks I did a lot thinking about things, profound things, very deep stuff.. and I got to thinking, I should kick the blog back into gear, wind 'er back up, kick start this piece of crap, use it as an avenue for venting, a place for the graffiti of my mind, the spray bomb of my brain. I invite you to stick around, read what I've got to say and if it so moves you to comment if you like.

Epiphany has been my best friend lately, and has made me re-aware of the blog. I love blogging. I love just having a place to write some crap down, and know it will be read by someone like you. I love walking down the cracked sidewalks of life realizing that I see things differently than most, realizing that through the expression of oneself we can learn, learn what makes us tick, what makes us tock, and what makes us wonder if the faded pink gum stuck on the sidewalk still has some flavour left in it. Epiphany has been my best friend lately, arriving at an interesting time of my life.

Experiments Gone Wrong:

The may experiment of 31in31 posts wore me out, and won’t be attempting that again. Some posts just need top screen priority for more than one day I found, and it sucked to knock a meaningful post down a notch just for a youtube video post or something of the sort. I now think having a post up for a week is not such a bad thing.

The whole religious debate.. Experiment? Yes.. gone wrong? Ah.. Yea. I’ve learned something from Epiphany, she tells me, “Alex, You can’t argue religion.”
The “yea but I’m right cause I *know* I’m right” stuff.. kind of done with it. I’m not saying I won’t make a post here and there, I just won’t be debating.

I had another experiment in the background that went way wrong.. way way wrong. I don’t even want to get into it, but it was like crack cocaine wrong, feeling right at the time and tumbling into a dark hole of unrecoverable death, down down down.. really.. it was bad, and I’m glad it never made it for public viewing. All those out there trying to imagine what it was? Good luck.. it’s dead now, over.. not even Stephen King could unstill that coffin.


Other Experiments:

The Alphabet gig.. that’s still going.. only four more letters. V, W, X, Y and Z. Yea I’ll finish this, kind of enjoyed it actually.

Stay tuned.. I’ll give your brain some candy it so needs. A lot of salty brains out there.. need to sweeten em up a pinch.


AS

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

31in31 - May 21st - "Skunk"

Man I wish I could do something like this..

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

31in31 - May 19th - "Nothing To Say"

Today, I have nothing to say, so instead, here's a video that I thought was pretty funny.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

31in31 - May 18th - "Fear God"

Ecclesiastes 12:13

"13 Now all has been heard;

here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the whole duty of man."


As I was reading this book, I came across this verse, which happens to be the second to last verse of the book. After looking up a few references, I checked the dictionary for the word "Fear" this is what I found:


1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone's safety.
4. reverential awe, esp. toward God.
5. that which causes a feeling of being afraid; that of which a person is afraid: Cancer is a common fear. –verb (used with object)
6. to regard with fear; be afraid of.
7. to have reverential awe of.
8. Archaic. to experience fear in (oneself). –verb (used without object)
9. to have fear; be afraid.


According to the Dictionary, Fear means Fear unless it means Awe. Here's the definition of Awe:


1. an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great political figures.
2. Archaic. power to inspire fear or reverence.
3. Obsolete. fear or dread.


A definition of "Fear of God" from a site


Many have the tendency of minimizing the fear of God for believers to “respecting” Him. While respect is definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there is more to it than that. A Biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin, and fearing His judgment on sin – even in the life of a believer. Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents prevented, hopefully, some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore, seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.



What was Ecclesiastes about then? To me it says this: Without God, life has no meaning, With God, life has meaning, but we better live a life that pleases God, and live in fear of this discipline.

Live a life with no meaning, or live a life of fear. Pick one.

AS





Saturday, May 17, 2008

31in31 - May 17th "The Teapot Take 2"

I must have hit a note there with a few people on my last post, first of all quoting an "idiot and a fool" apparently makes an argument moot. (Ad Hominem..). My point of it was to see "agnosticism" from a different view. It's been mentioned on this blog via the comments, that one should choose to believe or choose not to believe, but don't choose not to choose, which, as this story shows to be the better option.

Friday, May 16, 2008

31in31 - May 16th -"Parable of the Celestial Teapot"

Quoting Bertrand Russell..


"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the
business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather
than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a
mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and
Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an
elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my
assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is
too small to be revealed even by our most powerful
telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my
assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption
on the part of human reason to doubt it, I
should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however,
the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in
ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday,
and instilled into the minds of children at school,
hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark
of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of
the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor
in an earlier time."

Thoughts?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

31in31 - May 15th - "ET OK"

It would seem the Vatican has just come out saying, "It's OK believe in Aliens"

Right on the coat tails of the UK releasing hundreds of pages pertaining UFO investigations..

Just though it'd be interesting.

Alex.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

31in31 - May 14th - "In Response to Darren's Post"

This post is in response to Darren's post found here.

Darren,

First of all, the premise of not believing in something due to lack of credible evidence was not mine, it was yours.

Allow me to quote you from the previous post:

"I don't believe in UFO's. It has nothing to do with the Bible or that I see them as some kind of threat to my Christian perspective. I simply don't believe that we have any credible evidence that they exist. Yet."

And then you say this in the current post:

"And if that is the case, then I reject your premise that I only believe in something with credible evidence."

I have to ask you.. which one is it?

Second of all you make these claims:

“Looking at it as empirically as possible, just comparing the sheer number of believers, the historical accuracy of many events in the Bible, the number of people who claim to have had 'close encounters' with UFO's vs 'close encounters' with god. Add to this the physical evidence all around us that, even many atheists admit, points to an intelligent designer, or cohesive force holding everything together.”

A whole lot of things in here, I’ll break it down.

Historical Accuracy of Many Events in the Bible

Are you talking about the Moabite Stone? The Jehu Obelisk? The Babylonian Chronicle?
I think a well researched discussion on what exactly the accuracies are purported to be might be a good one indeed. It will also give us a chance to discuss the inaccuracies.

Sheer Numbers of Believers

Believing anything based on a “sheer number” is known as the “Ad Populum” fallacy. A belief in a claim should never be based on the number of people that approve of the claim.

Physical Evidence All Around Us [Pointing to Intelligent Design]

This would be another great discussion to have, showcasing the physical evidence of intelligent design! Of course, physical evidence would imply just that.. which should be in abundance as it is “all around us” I mean the smoking gun, right here.. all around us. Let’s discuss. It should be assumed though, although apparently unnecessarily, that the lack of science able to prove something does not and should not point to physical evidence of “intelligent design”. But I’m sure you already know that.
Also, an Atheist would never believe in what they believe if they agreed to what you are talking of here, or they can’t call themselves “Atheists”.

A Cohesive Force Holding Everything Together

This is an interesting one. I am sure you have heard of string theory, tiny little stings, vibrating around, slipping in and out of dimensions.. anyway, this theory, could be proven as early as this summer in large particle accelerators across seas, may just be the beginning to understanding everything, the force which holds everything together, or “Unification”, the theory of everything, the brain child of Einstein.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

31in31 - May 13th - "In Response to Dan #3"

Dan's Entry of May 12th entitled "What's the Question Again?" I made this comment:

You are locking yourself up in a fallacious argument here. Although it IS fair to say that your belief system is rational to you, it is completely unfair to say that something that is not rational to you must be irrational for everyone. In this context, rationality is a methodology one uses as a mechanism to form conclusion, based on his or her "reason". Due to the nature of varying reasons (subject of belief), it is completely possible for two people to have complete rational thoughts and arrive at completely different conclusions, and perhaps this means conclusions that fall out of YOUR three “rational” choices.I do appreciate what you are doing here, being as you are telling us why YOU believe what you do, but to say that someone who in your mind is irrational in their belief try to defend it “must do so without the benefit of reason or logic or standards or facts” is just ridiculous. What is irrational to you maybe rational to others, and their opinions are just as defendable using benefits of reason, logic, standards and facts.

Monday, May 12, 2008

31in31 - May 12th - "Response to The Beginning of the Beginning"

In response to Dan's "The Beginning of the Beginning" posted this morning.

I am glad to be able to get the philosophical juices flowing, as was my intent for anyone reading these posts and who show even a small bit of interest in these posts. Allowing the thought process to flow is what I feel to be not only important, but crucial to anyone with a conviction. Knowing exactly why you believe in something helps justify the belief's existence, helps justify the way you live your life, the reason you go to church, the reason you choose the method of raising your children, and the justification for judgements we put on non believers or people of different beliefs, just to name a few. Without this conviction, without having a solid answer to "why", you risk being considered a follower, a conformer, an inherited believer, or worse, you risk being challenged without having the answers. If you are a believer in God, or in Allah, or in a Benevolent One or a believer in any of the other many many gods, and are living your life in service to your chosen creator, I call you to task. I call you to put aside the fears you might have about approaching this, to roll up your sleeves, and to put down your books and your DVDs, to think past your years of schooling and your years of indoctrination. I call you to use your common sense, your intuition. I call you to really think outside the box, or the bubble if you will.

My First Thought Challenge: "The New Human"

You are a brand new human, just becoming into being. You are not a child though. You started out your human life as an adult, how you came to be is obviously NOT important here. You are standing on the ground somewhere on the earth, location not a factor, as a matter of fact, neither does your race, your sex, or the language you speak. You have no history, or at least none that you know of. The first item on your agenda (besides getting clothed) is figuring out why you exist. Where and how do you find your answer?

I understand this is not an easy thing to do, and I applaud Dan for being willing to take the challenge in a rather public forum, but of course anyone is welcome.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

31in31 - May 11th - "Jonesing"

In order to fulfill my promise I owe the blog a post today. This blog entry is coming off my blackberry so it will lack the links, spellcheck, etc..
Todays entry is thanks to James D. He asked me if I have ever heard of the word "Jonesing".. I had to admit that I have never heard of the word. I asked what it was all about, apparently its a replacement for the word "craving" and most often used in the addiction world. For example:
Dude, you got any green? Im jonesing for a hit.
Or
Man that pot was soooo good, im totally jonesing for some grub.
Or
Cathy V might say.. Im all wacked out, jonesing for brew, french press style.

I think im gonna make a bumper sticker... "Jonesing for the Truth"

AS

Saturday, May 10, 2008

31in31 - May 10th - "Soup n' Samich Contest"

Yesterday Missy proposed a "Soup and Sandwich" contest to myself and all bloggers linked on my front page, including herself, Dan V, Darren C, Matt W and yours truly. Four of the five have a noted love for food, two of us have won contests and one.. one of us likes to kill cats. I kind of feel for Matty in this contest, I don't think i have ever tasted his cooking before, and to be honest have no idea if he even cooks (well besides cats with tazers). Anyway, in the spirit of the event I would like to encourage Matt to participate.

Here's my bet on what will be made:

Darren: "Saffron Kobe Tenderloin Sandwiches with Japanese Matsuke Mushroom / White Truffle Soup" (average cost $229.00 per plate) Wine: One of the bottles recovered from the Titanic.

Missy: "Sugary Swiss Chocolate melted in Whipped Cream Caramel Ciabatta with a bowl of liquified candy corn reduction sweetened with a condensed yolk of thirty nine easter cream eggs sprinkled with Icing Sugar and deepfried in Pepsi until brown. Wine: Ice Wine (with added honey)

Dan: "Organic Wheat Grass Tofu and Celery Stalk in between a few slices of Multigrain Unlevened Oatmeal enriched Kosher Bread served with a bowl of South East Asian Lentil Soup totalling a whopping negative 400 calories, you actually burn more calories eating it. Wine: Organic Bottle of Pinot served in a chilled glass with a raw egg and more wheat grass.

Alex: "The UFO" A samich / soup combo so out of this world, it must remain TOP SECRET until full disclosure. Wine: I would know this, but due to the compartmentalization of secrets it won't be revealed even to me until full disclosure.

Matt: "Peanut Butter and Jam with Campbells Tomato soup (with the "add milk" option)" Wine: Milk

Looking forward to it boys! (and girl)

AS

Oh and FORSURE Tanya should be a judge.. that's a no brainer. I think we should not allow spouses of participants as judges and recommend these:

M & J J
N & T V
R & G D
J & Y M
J & C D

Just off the top of my head.

Friday, May 9, 2008

31in31 - May 9th - "Hard Truth"

In Missy fashion I have a quote:

"Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy. And in the final tolling it often turns out that the facts are more comforting than the fantasy."
Carl Sagan

Discuss?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

31in31 - May 8th - "In Response to Dan's Comments"

In the "UFO" blog entry entitled "31in31 - May 7th - "The Letter U" " Steely Dan left a comment of which I would like to highlight. If you haven't read the original post, it's the one right below this one, or just click here.

Dan's Comment in it's entirety:

I think they made a movie about this kind of thing from the Left Coast city of Hollywood. Men-in-Black or something?I am open to the idea of life beyond our current knowledge, other planets etc. And I find no reason that this should conflict with my Christian faith. The idea that it
could has always baffled me (am I missing something?). Nor did the movie Contact (similar subject) shake my world view. It would indeed be a waste of space and extremely arrogant to think we are alone in God's Creation.That being said, the idea of any goverment being able to keep contact with aliens a secret makes the coffee come out of my nose. We couldn't keep a BJ in the most secure room on the planet (the Oval) secret, but this is has been hush hush for years?In addition, I find the prevailing theory that increased sightings of ETUFO's is further evidence of abnormal "global warming" (err, "climate change", is the new good-for-all-seasons term, I guess) to be hilarious. Great post Alex. I think it is a great topic. In fact any topic that asks us to reconcile our faith with scientific facts is fantastic for us as believers.



First off thanks for the great comment, this is what I always hope to see when I post something of this nature. If you don't mind, and I sincerely hope you don't, I would like to take a few lines out and discuss a little.

Dan writes:

"I am open to the idea of life beyond our current knowledge, other planets etc.
And I find no reason that this should conflict with my Christian faith. The idea
that it could has always baffled me (am I missing something?)." Nor did the movie Contact (similar subject) shake my world view. It would indeed be a waste of space and extremely arrogant to think we are alone in God's Creation.



I find it interesting that you immediately went into a faith defensive posture with this, almost as a guilty party admits to NOT participating in a crime prior to even being questioned. What baffles me is how people belonging to a Structured Religious Belief System can honestly believe we are not alone in this universe and NOT have it shake a foundation. No where in the bible does it make mention of life on other planets. Does this mean that the other planets have their own bibles which make no mention of what happened on this planet we call earth? I would like to know just how you can have absolutely no reason of conflict on this?

Dan writes:

"That being said, the idea of any goverment [sic] being able to keep contact with aliens a secret makes the coffee come out of my nose. We couldn't keep a BJ in the most secure room on the planet (the Oval) secret, but this is has been hush hush for
years?"


This comment surprised me a little. Conspiracy theories aside, do you actually think the governments of the world cannot keep secrets of any grade equal to or higher than a sexual act? I would disagree one hundred and sixty nine percent. First of all, the people of North America (notice I'm not American bashing here, but tempted to) are addicted to sex and smut to very high degrees, making these very hard secrets to keep. (Linda Tripp) I hope you had some degree of tongue-in-cheekedness with this comment. Through vehicles of misinformation and strict compartmentalization, governments are not only good at keeping secrets, they wrote the book on it.
Now take possible secrets about ET; Many many government employees have purportedly exposed this secret, but they are quickly labelled as quacks, and due to the unfortunate nature of the material not being sexually interesting enough and highly unbelievable in a country which stamps "In God We Trust" on their coins. They are not taken seriously by the general public, the public which looks side to side to check the reaction of others before coming to their own "opinion". Apparently eye witness testimony doesn't mean much until it's thrown on the television screen above the "CNN" channel marker without the typical smirk of bias on the face of the anchor.

Dan writes:

"In addition, I find the prevailing theory that increased sightings of ETUFO's is further evidence of abnormal "global warming" (err, "climate change", is the new good-for-all-seasons term, I guess) to be hilarious."


Well although I would almost certainly agree with what you say here, it really has nothing to do with what I was talking about. (I do find it interesting however, that you mention the term "climate change" is replacing "global warming". Justifiably so, as it has been recently found through ocean temperature mapping projects there has been a cooling rather than a warming. )
Those people that are of the belief that the "earth is in danger" are of the belief that humans are dying at record rates through disease and hunger, not to mention the wars and genocides occurring everyday, killing untold thousands, justified and motivated by race and religion. Perhaps stating the "earth is in danger" is not correct. It should be replaced with "humanity is in danger"

Dan writes:

I think it is a great topic. In fact any topic that asks us to reconcile our faith with scientific facts is fantastic for us as believers.

Why it is fantastic for believers to have to reconcile faith with scientific facts? It is certainly not an easy thing for the Christian community to find congruency with science, never has. Take evolution as an example. This was a major shake up for the Christian community in it's day, science proving the earth's age as being somewhat more than 6000 years old. The reconciliation of this concept was not fantastic by any stretch. Now the generally accepted and adopted belief amongst Christians is an extremely confusing hybrid "evo-creationism" leaving the remainder of the literal Christians reconciling things such as 100 million year old dinosaurs bones as "put there by God to test our faith".
That being said, I am unsure which definition of "fantastic" you were meaning to use here, was it "extravagantly fanciful; marvelous" or "imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational"? OK OK, I'm a little tongue in cheek here, I realize the definition is the first, based on the fact that you think of it as a "great topic" to which I would agree wholeheartedly.

Dan, Feel free to comment, or better yet feel free to quote me on your blog and we can have a back and forth. And anyone else out there with thoughts on this topic, feel free to comment or quote me on your blogs. Just remember to be respectful.

AS

Update - Dan's Response to THIS post is located here (Http://strangershereourselves.blogspot.com)

BTW, welcome back to your blog.. I still hope the key fit! ;-)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

31in31 - May 7th - "The Letter U"

U is for UFO.

Let's discuss. Are there UFO's? One could answer quite simply "yes of course, by it's definition there are plenty of Unidentified Flying Objects all around us everyday".. but this is not what I'm writing about. I'm writing about the real McCoy, the grand pappy of them all.. the Extra Terrestrial UFOs. The method of travel chosen by intelligent beings inhabiting other planets to our planet.


Since Ray and Mark's sighting in Feb of this year, documented in a comment on THIS blog entry, I've been feverishly researching this phenomena to a point of obsession. The amount of information out there on the net is astounding, not to mention the published books and other media on the subject known as ufology, exopolitics, exobiology, etc.. I've become as close to an expert one can get being educated purely on research and hearsay, never having a close encounter myself, I remain cautiously open minded.


What I would like to do here is throw a couple of links at you of current events strictly relating to ufology. If you don't already know, ufo "sightings" have been increasing at a massive rate globally, so much so that the evidence is staggering. I'm not just talking about fuzzy videos and crappy pictures, there have been a few mass sightings.. unexplainable stuff.. but that's just the beginning. The main thing being empathically discussed now is disclosure.


There are many websites and books being published on the hot topic of disclosure. In a nut shell, this is what it is being said: Alien races have been visiting earth for many many years. Most of the governments know about them and have been in communication with them but have kept this secret for many good reasons. The governments have had compliance and cooperation with the alien races up until recently, where it's thought that the alien races think the general population of the earth now need to know of their existence and to prove that we are not alone. Why this push on disclosure is of massive discussion and debate, no one is really sure but the generally accepted speculation is that planet earth is in danger, and that we need help. The governments are being pushed to full disclosure with the help of the aliens, but are very reluctant to for obvious reasons, the two largest of course being religious and economical (not to mention political of course).

This topic is huge. But if you are interested in this kind of thing, here is one link you should look at. It is by far the most popular and visited site pertaining to ufology:

Open Minds Forum

Here's another interesting read:

Majestic Documents

And another:

Project Serpo

Spooooooooky.





Tuesday, May 6, 2008

31in31 - May 6th - "Crash and Burn"

Please join me in welcoming Missy to the wonderful and egomanical world of blogs! You can find her blog right... over... here. Whoops, I mean here. Crap.. something is wrong with my links.. oh wait HERE it is!

http://miss-adventures-eh.blogspot.com/

I am in overload, two friends building blogs in one week? I LIKE! Matt is still having some crash and burn problems on his blog, but you know what, we'll just give him some time. Matt, today's video goes out to you.

Missy, I look forward to seeing what you can come up with! If you like I can throw out a few challenges, and maybe you can help me with finishing off the alphabet. I have "U" pretty much complete.. but I'm assuming you might be able to do "M" a better justice.

I'm playing around with RSS and ATOM feeds today in an attempt to be alerted via email when a post is made on a blog I'm watching. It may come as a surprise but I have never used feeds yet. Anyone out there use feeds? Comment on it.. I have subscribed to the blogs in my hit list using Google's Reader program.

News of the Day

71 years ago today, May 6th 1937, The Hindenburg, the pride of Germany's Third Reich, crashed killing 36 people.

Video of the Day




Take care and be safe out there.
AS

Monday, May 5, 2008

31in31 - May 5th - "Stuck On This Island"

Well hello and welcome to blog land Darren! For those who don't know, Darren C (aka The BigDC) started up his own blog on the weekend.. finally!
DC, a very accomplished and successful chef, beer drinker, guitar hero master and one of the greatest intellectual thinkers of the 21st century has decided to share of his most intimate collection of thoughts and meanderings at "Stuck on This Island" blog hosted by blogger.
I'm hoping we'll be seeing the recipe for things such as "The Pulled Pork Samich" or "The Man Burger" or even the prized (but easily beatable) "Contest Winning Chili"
Look forward to seeing you raise the blog bar Darren! ;-)

That being said.. here is a small list of other people that would raise the bar on their own blogs:

Tanya S
I know she already said she wouldn't do it, but the only excuse should be cause she's writing a book or two or studying for her PhD.

Leona S
A blog entitled "Living with Alex" should have more than enough material for a blog and might be a good way to vent with tons of rants ;-)

Ray S
There's a hidden bottle of pharmaceuticals here that once the child proof safety top is uncapped can reveal an overdose of something highly entertaining and yet medicinal at the same time.

Joylaine J
Two words - Photo Blog.

Chris / Missy W
I'm thinking MOVIE blog? or using the formula: Mundane + Missy = Interesting, Interesting + Missy = (Over the Top)2

Dan / Jen V
I know you already have a blog, but it needs defibrillation! Blogging about new places you find good foods / wines etc.. come on, you know it.

Matt, you're blog is also in need of a little firecracker. "But we have a BABY.." not gonna work.

News of the Day

Families feel the effects of blogs' candid comments

Video of the Day

Here is a guy who decided to try something new in his life. He started a Video Blog on Youtube and his first entry pulled in 2.8 million hits with 12,ooo comments. If you watch his second video he talks about how overwhelming this was.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

31in31 - May 4th - "Sneezes"


News of the Day

Sneeze Fetish?

Video of the Day

A panda sneezes and scares the heck outta the momma bear.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

31in31 - May 3rd - "Cloverfield"

Well its early saturday morning here in great Vancouver, and I'll be on a plane soon back to Calgary. To all those family members who read this blog and wonder why the heck i didn't call, it's been busy, real busy. I didn't even have a chance to eat any sushi, which (has to be a first). No sushi, damn.

Just finished watching "Cloverfield". Chris W, you and I are watching this one again on the big screen. I might just have to put it in my top 10!! After such horrible reviews I have postponed watching it, but when you're at a hotel, it's midnight and you can't sleep.. there's really no excuse not to, and I was totally surprised! Still buzzin.. intense..

News of the Day

A great day in Cuba.. Cubans are finally allowed to buy computers.. Yes you heard me right. But the bad bad internet is still a big no no. What fun is a PC without the Internet?

Video of the Day