Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Hate Telemarketers


verb (used with object)


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.


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 .
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


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.


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.

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


• 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.

• 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.

• 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


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.


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?

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.