Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A few highlights from my email…

Not unlike so many others, I have a spam filter for my email. I enjoy this feature because it keeps me from receiving a plethora of offers on reduced price software and medication. I’m also aware that a certain Christian group desperately wants to lend me money, but I just can’t bring myself to reply to their tempting email offers. Every once in awhile I go through the spam trap just to make sure nothing important gets held up in there. It happens from time to time. Upon viewing the contents of the trap though, a few subject lines stuck out to me. The following is the subject line followed by what I believe I might gain from actually reading the email, however, it should be noted that I did not, in fact, read any of those emails. I feel like it would have been an unnecessary waste of time given my superior “hunch” skills. I’m pretty confident you’ll agree that my assumptions were most likely correct, thus rendering an actual reading of the content obsolete.

Attention grabbing email subject line number 1.

“Jon, Oprah switches to green tea for the new year!”

Ok, first of all, this one grabbed my attention because it is clearly addressed to me. I mean, my name is Jon. There’s just no way you could fake that. I’m not even going to listen to any arguments that might suggest the possibility of a computer program randomly generating names that start with “J” and then getting so lucky as to pick my name correctly then send me a bogus email. Nor will I listen to any far more ridiculous claims that due to some form I filled out online with my name and email address that they have customized an email for me like they have for thousands of others. Those claims border no treasonous. I’m not sure why it’s treasonous, but it is, and those claims border on it.

As to the actual subject line, anyone that knows me is familiar with my “Be Like Oprah” plan. I initiated this plan back in 1997 when I became acutely aware of just how much money Oprah is worth. She gains weight, I gain weight. She loses weight, I lose weight. I subscribe to O magazine and read it religiously cover to cover. Any person that can find a way to make money off of their name both forwards and backwards (harpO Productions… freaking genius…) is worthy of my insanely creepy lifestyle duplication. This is why the subject line intrigued me so much. I see that Oprah has switched to green tea. This means only one thing to me: I must switch to green tea. I felt like just making that decision in my head made my bank account swell.

Probably another reason I didn’t feel it necessary to read on with this email is that the subject line pretty much covered it. I’m not entirely sure there could have been much further useful information in there for me. Perhaps there was a green tea offer of some sort, but really, I don’t think an email is the place where you want to be ordering your Oprah brand green tea. Plus, I don’t even know if I can trust the source of that email. For all I know, they could be offering low quality green tea and just be trying to cash in on the Oprah name. Wouldn’t be the first time. Sometimes I feel bad for all the problems Oprah must have being Oprah. Thank god she has a palatial mansion to get away from it all. I suspect I’ll need something of equal size and grandeur when my Oprah transformation is complete.

So yeah, that email caught my attention.

Attention grabbing email subject line number 2.

“Jon, brag about your Louis Vuitton bag”

Again, the use of my first name was key in this one. We’ve already discussed the ridiculously miniscule chances of that happening, so it was once again evident that this email was addressed to me and to me alone. This email however, did not feel like it was so much informative as it was instructive. I have a Louis Vuitton bag, and it’s now been made clear to me that I need to brag about it.

I’ve had the bag for several months now. I take it with me everywhere. Often times I wear whole outfits designed entirely to accentuate the bag in all it’s subtleties. I get a lot of comments on it, and I don’t mind telling you that I love every one of them. Sometimes I’ll get some backhanded compliment about how it looks like I have a really good knock off. I tell them straight to their face, “Honey, this ain’t no damn knock off! This here’s the real deal!” Then I bust out my portfolio of documents containing a vast array of authenticity certificates, one of which is signed by the president of Arkansas himself. (when I first received that particular certificate of authenticity, I was entirely unaware that Arkansas had a president, but they do, and he signed my certificate of authenticity. You can challenge both his existence and his jurisdiction in this matter, but you will lose on both accounts as he is a legitimate governing body of all handbags, international and domestic.)

From this day forward, I promise that I will indeed make more of an effort to show off and highlight the fact that I have a Louis Vuitton bag. Some people claim that I follow random orders from mysterious emails a little too easily. To those people, I say only this, “Have you seen my Louis Vuitton bag? Oh? You don’t have one? Sucks for you.” You know that you don’t really have a good handbag unless people are selling cheap knock offs on street corners everywhere. Luckily, that doesn’t apply to me. Wait until you see the outfit I have planned for tomorrow. It’s a sexy little strapless number I picked up last weekend at the swap meet.

Attention grabbing email subject line number 3.

“Jon, get access to thousands of TV channels and clips ON YOUR COMPUTER!”

Again, I cannot stress enough how eye catching it is to see my very own, incredibly unique name in the subject line. Couple that with the two letters T and V right next to each other, and it’s guaranteed a second look. I’m not obsessed so much with the programming side of television as I am with the technological side. I like TV’s that have no less than 3 different forms of input and preferably no less than 6 available inputs. S-Video and Composite are a must, but then Component, DVI, VGA, HDMI and Fire Wire are the ones that really get my blood flowing. I really feel like I’ve gone off topic here, so I’ll show some restraint and move back to the email subject line. My name and TV are what grabbed my attention, but upon further reading and comprehension of the rest of the sentence, I realized that they were attempting to sell me the internet. I already have the internet available to me on my computer and what with the new google videos, I’m a pretty happy man. I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time before google becomes a religion. Check it out. They make religion fun and easy, just like everything else they touch.

Having now evaluated it properly, I think this email would have stayed in the deleted items box.

I hope now everyone can see the amount of time that it takes me to think about things after glancing at just 3 subject lines in my spam filtered email box. I don’t even know when I find time to do the simple things like eat, sleep and breath.


cadiz12 said...

note to self: self, next time you want to threaten jon, or just get his attention in any sort of manner whatsoever, be sure to include his name in your comment.

jon, nice post. but dude, i think oprah's in cahoots with the devil.

omar said...

It's going to take me a little while to get over my state of shock. New post... two straight days?

Aaaaaaaand, done. Over it.

Oprah is a self-made skillionaire, and for that, I respect her. Others might question a 20-something white male wanting to be like a 50-something black female, but I completely understand, even though I'm a 20-something black male and can't fully relate to either of you.

And I'm with you on the "at least 6 available inputs." My TV does not have DVI or HDMI. I had been using the component input for my DVD player, but now (for the olympics) I picked up an HD tuner, and I want to use component connections for that. My TV only has one component input, so now I'm stuck. In reality, I don't watch enough DVDs anymore for this to be an issue (or rather, I watch them on my iPod while running around). Nevertheless, knowing that my home theater connections are currently in a state of disarray bothers me. I'm guessing I don't need to explain that feeling to you.

For the rest of you, it's like when you run into someone and you know you know their name, but you can't think of their name. Then you're like, "what the hell is his name?" And it nags you for the rest of the day. It's very similar to that, except it's a little bit worse, in my opinion, because it's constant (until the home theater situation gets resolved).

This may be the longest comment I've ever left anywhere. And I didn't even touch the Louis Vuitton thing.

Jon said...

Cadiz: yeah, I’m pretty easy. Shiny objects work too. Obviously, repeated threats from several different sourced don’t work… putting my name in the subject line of an email that I may or may not get depending on the mood of my spam filter? Well that’s just how you get things done in my world. It doesn’t seem to make sense in the context of a normal, healthy, well developed adult, but it fits in perfectly with me.

But I don’t think Oprah is in cahoots with the devil, I know it. I never even once considered another option.

Omar: I’m an unpredictable wild man. You never know when loops are going to be thrown.

Oprah’s skillions are what first caught my attention, but as I grew to know and love her, I realized that she is so much more than that. She is now a multi-skillionaire. And that’s where she really sealed the deal. I have quite an interest in being a skillionaire, and even further interest in being a mutli-skillionaire.

As to the TV… well, I’m an idealist. I currently watch most of my TV on my computer monitor. I switch the DVI over from my desktop when I want to watch HD, otherwise, my monitor has an S-Video input that I use. I’ve got my PS2 hooked up to the composit video input the monitor has, and I have another computer hooked up to the VGA input the monitor also possesses. I can’t tell you how unbelievably great HD is… You don’t really understand it until you have it. That’s all I can say. I know what it’s like to have that connection problem. I have a 21” TV that I bought at a thrift store for $20. They thought it was broken because the coax input didn’t work. What they didn’t know was that the composite on the back was fine. It actually has a really good picture too, though not HD :( At any rate, there is only one input on the back, so having a cable box, PS2 and DVD Player hooked up at the same time didn’t seem likely… but I solved my problem with a 4 way switch. Now I don’t use the TV, but I use the switch to swap the sound from my computer to my TV to my PS2 to my other computer. It works out pretty well. If I were a rich man, that kind of thing would and should really be handled by a good receiver. I’d advise you to look into upgrading to a good home theater sound system that supports component inputs, then you could plug multiple devices in there and then only need to worry about the one input on the TV. That’s of course assuming that you don’t want to upgrade the TV. It can get a little tricky for people sometimes when they need multiple remotes to coordinate TV input and Stereo Receiver output, but I suspect this isn’t a problem for you. Everyone else in the house, maybe, but not for you. And I have absolute faith that your boy will be no slouch in this area either. I kind of like to watch people try and figure out how to do something simple like watch TV on my setup… I’m borderline cruel like that. Eventually, when I get my skillions, I’ll be looking to have a really nice HTPC. I’ll have the horsepower to do it all in HD and have a few terabytes of storage space so I don’t feel to cramped. Now… I just need those skillions…

And to further emphasize your analogy, not only do you run into this person, but they immediately address you by your name…

I don’t know if this is my longest reply to a comment ever, but it’s up there… TV does that to me…

cadiz12 said...

this is what i gathered from the last two comments:

a) 'skillionaire' is a coolass word.

b) if you want good output, you need a working place for input.

c) you two are slaves to your toys.

d) i forgot how nice it had been in the old days.


omar said...

I had thought about a new receiver, but I couldn't justify the cost just yet (read that as "my wife would have killed me for even mentioning the thought out loud").

And no we are NOT slaves to the toys. Can't a guy have a hobby? Isn't there something about the right to crystal clear pictures in the constitution?

And while we're on the topic of television, yes, HD is amazing. In my area, I can only get a few channels over the air (NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX), but I don't like that I have to mess with the antenna to get them. So I folded and got a box through the cable company at a 4 month promotional rate so I can get more high def channels.

Jon said...

Cadiz: Skillionaire is a cool ass word. No questions asked. Excellent summation of output Vs. input. The slave issue will be discussed in a moment. And yes, the old days were good times, but as much as I like speakeasies and flappers, times have changed, and we must embrace that too.

Omar: I completely understand the financial restrictions…

And all this slave talk must be addressed. That implies that I am under the oppressive control of my toys. Or that I am somehow participating against my will. This is so far from the truth it is laughable! Ha! See? I just laughed about it! I am 100% willing in all transactions and dealings with my toys. In fact, I initiate almost all of the interaction. Omar is right, it’s in the constitution. Our forefathers had such amazing foresight that they included HD television in the main body of that sacred document. And I quote:

“Let it be known that no man shall ever be confined to the boundaries of regular television. All men born on this great soil are inherently created with the rite to investigate and obtain access to all that is HD compliant.”

It goes on and on for several pages about the various input options all men are entitled to, but you get the point. It’s constitutional. The Supreme Court has upheld numerous cases in regards to this matter. The landmark case The State of Georgia Vs. Bartholomew Beauregard in 1833 set the precedent for all future lawsuits involving the separation of a man and his TV when they ruled in favor of Mr. Beauregard stating that it is both unlawful and unconstitutional to part a man and his TV regardless of his age, race, religion or ability to pay financing charges. It’s more commonly known today as Bart’s Rites or B. B’s Law. This case is noteworthy not only because of the magnitude of the ruling but because it was the first time in Supreme Court history that they ruled in favor of a person non-existent, yet-to-be-invented item.

The history of HD goes back even further than that. When they found the Dead Sea Scrolls awhile back, when the translation was complete, they discovered a previously unpublished text from the old testament wherein it explains that while Moses was up on the mountain with God and he received the 10 commandments, he was given one other verbal instruction. It is written:

“And there will come a time in modern ages when man’s vision will be emancipated by the tools of the times. It is God’s will that these visions of such vivid distinction shall be given to all male members of the family.”

Even a loose translation makes it pretty clear that the Lord was talking about HD. For whatever reason, this passage was omitted from the original text.

But I digress… Omar, as to your TV situation, I completely understand. While I have no experience with the OTA HD antennas, I grew up with a giant piece of metal on my roof, so I assume the same problems with reception can occur. I currently have Dish Network, and I hate them. First of all, their HD package cost $20, and it’s only 6 freaking channels! And I don’t get any of the network channels at all. The best they can do is CBS, but in order for that to happen, I have to purchase an additional satellite dish for $100… for ONE channel!!!! I’m switching very soon.

I can’t help but wonder, should this comment have been a post?

cadiz12 said...

he's back, folks.

A said...

What I have gathered so far is that Jon, you could have easily written two seperate new posts about the TV thing and the slave thing. Translated that means good to see you up and about again :>

Hi cadiz!

cadiz12 said...

nice spinning ninja!

hey there, A, where have you been hiding?

Jon said...

Cadiz: Maybe I am, maybe I’m not… you just never know with me ;)

A: Fact of the matter is, I could probably write a post every day about TV or whatever other piece of technology has my fancy that day… I almost spat out an Ode to an ipod nano shortly after Christmas… But thanks, it’s nice to be back… if that is indeed what I am…

Cadiz: I was wondering when someone would notice…

A said...

iPod black...


Cadiz: I have been around ummm for some days now :> where have you been?

A said...

Oh and the ninja...very cool.

[notice how I remember the Pinnacle of Padding bit :p]

omar said...

What spinning ninja?

Jon said...

A: I haven’t seen that kind of padding in a long time :) Sure does feel nice. Thanks!! And yes, the 4 gig nano in black with an inscription on the back from my sisters… it requires a sigh.

Omar: I believe they are referring to the spinning ninja on the top right of this comment and various other places… But if you’re just trying to be coy… well done.

omar said...

Little known fact that "Coy" is my middle name, my friend.

That would make me happy if your next post was about iPods. I'm all about unnecessarily putting things on my iPod now. If you posted about iPods, I'd take however many screen shots are necessary to capture the entire post, then send 'em to the iPod so that I could read it on there. Better yet, I could take a video screen capture of me scrolling the page, and I'd send the video to the iPod. Then I'd connect the iPod to my TV, and I'd read your post on my TV. Then I could record the video of your site to DVD. Then I could rip the DVD and post the video out on the internet so that anyone with internet access could download the video of your site and read your post about iPods.

Jon said...

Omar... that's the coolest idea I've ever heard... I'll probably be posting about ipods later tonight. I have to bowl, but after that... :> (that's a devilish smile for those of you that weren't sure.)

cadiz12 said...

you guys totally lost me on that one. i guess i'll just have to wait and see.

Syar said...

the spinning ninja is quite distracting. I feel the need to stare at its spinning wonder instead of comment, but for this three-backlogged-unread-posts-at-JON'S-blog miracle, I must do so.

My spammers have such wonderfully long, illustrious names. like their parents spent days searching greek texts, baby name books and historical books to find the perfect name or just spend hours lumping names together to form a hybrid. Roxette Alexandra McNeal has told me to switch to green tea too. tasty.