Monday, April 30, 2007

So, sucking on stem cells.... Does that really work?

Sorry to have fucked off, but I have yet another bladder and kidney infection, so I feel like shit. I thought I had all this over and done with and my latest medical problems sussed out (a story which will make more sense when you read an upcoming post of mine), but apparently not. I'll be creeping around to doctor's, dentist's, and various other appointments this week, so I'll try to catch up with you lot and get you sorted later.

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves, I'm all verklempt.

Fat Sparrow

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Annoyyou.com

The other day I received an e-mail from a start-up company. I thought I'd share it with you, along with my response. The name of the company has been changed, as I don't want to encourage them by giving them publicity. I have left their e-mail "as is," so don't even go there with "There are spelling/punctuation/grammatical errors!"....



In a message dated 4/4/2007 12:04:41 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, peter@annoyyou.com writes:

Hi Fat Sparrow,

From what I read, your blog seems to cover a lot of interesting topics around your original and personal vision on everyday's life . Your blog is quite visible (I found you in the first results of Technorati), so I guess you must receive loads of messages.

We are just a small tech startup running a beta test for a new widget for blogs.
As the topic of your blog fits pretty well with the type of high end blog we are looking for, it would be very interesting if you could join our AnnoyYou Roll beta test.

What's all about? AnnoyYou is the blog roll of your readers. It’s a widget that displays links to blogs your readers are visiting the most often.

How does it work? We trace the number of visits of each unique reader on each blog that has installed AnnoyYou Roll. The more often a reader visits a specific blog, the greater his affinity is with this blog.

What are the benefits for you? First of all, you will provide your readers with a very entertaining blog roll, based on other readers with similar reading habits. Moreover, you will get highly qualified incoming traffic for your blog. Indeed, as other similar blogs display your blog on their AnnoyYou Roll, they will feed you with new readers with a strong affinity with your blog.

It takes 1 minute to install: http://widget.annoyyou.com/

I would be really interested in your personal feedback on this widget.
Thanks for your help.
Regards,


Peter
Project Manager AnnoyYou


http://www.annoyyou.com/

http://blog.annoyyou.com/

PS: I apologize in advance to be another guy sending you an email! I am NOT here to sell you anything whatsoever.By the way, I guess I hate those stupid spams as much as you.


My response....


Dear Peter --

Thank you for your kind and flattering remarks. It is a difficult business sending out e-mails to strangers, is it not? Therefore, let us pretend we are dogs; you have sniffed my backside, and now I will sniff yours.

I have been on your website, but short of installing your program, I cannot find any way to test it beforehand, to see what kind of sites would be linked to me. Perhaps you could let me know how your program differs, if any, from blog-coding programs such as BlogCode.com, or Blogroll.com, or WhoLinksToMe.com. If it does not differ, I fail to see how it would be useful to me, quite frankly. If, for instance, your program could generate new commenters to my site who are not assholes, this may be a plus. Or, on the other hand, if what I get is new assholes (and I cannot find that your implied promise of "highly qualified incoming traffic" precludes this) commenting, who have had their sense of humour surgically removed, and insist upon commenting on subjects of which they know nothing, that would be a minus. People often think that they are funny or intelligent when in fact they are neither. I can safely say this, as I am both funny and intelligent, and therefore am in a perfect position to criticize everyone else.

I also find that if people want to see whom I read, they can easily look at the blogs listed in my links. Unlike many blogs who will do automatic reciprocal links, I do not list people whom I do not read at least occasionally. Many other people link to me, yet I do not link to them. I would be uncomfortable with a program that would automatically link me with such people. It appears to me that your new program is this type of system. If I have misunderstood, please feel free to correct me.

Also, I notice that you mention that if I use your system, I would have "a very entertaining blog roll." Just how entertaining should my blog roll be? I would hate to have a blog roll that is more entertaining than my actual blog. It would rather defeat the purpose of my blog, would it not? I mean, upstaged by my own blog roll.... Just think of the pressure, and then of the sad and possibly untimely demise of my blog, all because I could not live up to the expectations of those who had looked at my very entertaining blog roll! And then there is the thought of more traffic on my blog. Do I need more traffic, or should I be more of a "planned growth" kind of blog? A virtual Master Planned Community, if you will. I wouldn't want to have so much traffic that I was accused of succumbing to that dreaded disease of planners everywhere -- sprawl.

I would suggest that maybe you could come up with a blog program that screens commenters. I know Blogspot (which I use) has "word verification," but I have found that even idiots, unfortunately, can type in a random string of letters and then attach their inane comments to my perfect post. I think that if you were to come up with some kind of IQ test, or some type of litmus test that would use some basic, predetermined requirements before a person would be allowed to post, you would be doing a great service for all of Bloggingkind. If and when you develop such a program, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,

Fat Sparrow
http://fatsparrow.blogspot.com
TheFatSparrow@aol.com

Monday, April 16, 2007

It's just not cricket

So there I was, sitting at the computer, happily perusing Manuel's blog in the wee hours of the morning, chuckling away. "Ha ha," I think, along with "Valid point!" and "Thank God I don't work in the restaurant industry anymore!" when the next thing I know, I feel a funny tickling in the arch of my right foot, which is ensconced in its slipper. "That's strange," I think to myself, "that almost feels like.... a bug!" Now some of you may remember that I have a serious bug phobia, the kind of phobia where, given a choice between touching a picture of a bug or cutting off my right hand, I will cut off my whole right arm.

Once it dawned on me that there quite possibly was a large bug in my slipper, actually touching my foot, my whole body was convulsed with a horrible sense of dread. I leapt up from the chair, shrieking "AAAIIIIEEEE!!! AAAIIIIEEEE!!! AAAIIIIEEEE!!!" followed quickly by "FUCK ME!" Strangely enough, this did not wake the sleeping household, which meant that nobody was coming to my defense. Shit.

Off to the kitchen I went, to fetch my large can of Raid-brand wasp spray. Raid-brand wasp spray is the shit, let me tell you. It will kill anything, and you can fire it up with accuracy from 20 feet away. It will keep mice, ants, and what-have-you out of your pantries, if you coat the cracks and corners with just a small amount, and it can take out, in mid-air, the mutant Japanese beetles (which I live in fear of) that fly through our back yard. Oh yeah, it kills wasps, too.

So, armed with my weapon of mass destruction, I warily go back into the living room, to hunt out whatever bug has infested my slipper. I tentatively reach under the desk, where my slipper is lying, and with shuddering hand give that fucker a good shake. Nothing. Crap. This means a further search will be required. I move back the chair, and there it is; a cricket of monstrous proportions. It is a giant, hairy black cricket, with drumsticks on it big enough to satiate a family of 5 in Darfur. It does not move; I assume that either it has been slightly crushed by me standing on it, or the smell of my foot has stunned it. Either way, I go in for the kill while it is quiet. I back away slowly, and say my prayers. SQUIRT! goes the wasp spray, all 7 gallons of it. SPROING! goes the cricket, followed by more truncated, high-pitched screaming by yours truly. I rapidly discharge another round from my weapon, easily hitting my target, as I am a practiced sharpshooter. The cricket scrabbles madly in the carpet, and works his way to some cardboard boxes that have been stuffed under the computer desk.

Fuck's sake, I'll never feel safe now, with the twitching body of a dying cricket under there. Wasp spray may be deadly, and it usually only takes one hit, but it can take a while to secure the demise of the larger insects. Muttering and still shaking, I go off to do the dishes. I return later with a fly swatter to scoop up the dead cricket. No way am I touching that fucker with anything held in my hands, such as a tissue. Yuck. I attempt to scoop up the dead cricket, only to have it break into a million pieces. Did I mention that wasp spray is kinda caustic? Oh well, I'll leave it for the Spouse Sparrow.

Later on that night, I had a spider crawl up my face.

Even later on, I had to give the wasp spray treatment to a large water bug that ran across the floor.

I think it is possible that the Apocalypse is coming. Or I may just need to clean the house. Then again, maybe I can just start drinking. Yeah, I think I'll just start drinking. Valium cocktails, anyone?

Fat Sparrow

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Two for flinching

So here I am, finally catching up on my newspaper reading, and I come across an article about the released British sailors. It seems that the official policy has been reversed, and the sailors have now been forbidden to sell their stories. Thank fuck, because if I have to hear any more sob stories about their ordeals, I will kick their asses myself.

The latest one I was reading about was from Arthur Batchelor, 20-year-old chav extraordinaire, who says he cried himself to sleep after one of the Iranian guards "kept flicking my neck with his index finger and thumb." What the fuck? What kind of big girl's blouse cries himself to sleep after getting flicked? What kind of unmanly twat actually admits it, in print and in interviews?

Let me tell you, if I had been taken captive, I may have been subjected to all sorts of horrible things, and sobbed about it until the snot ran down my nose and into my mouth, but there is no fucking way that you would get me to admit it in public after I was back home. If I were a guy, I would be talking about how the Iranians released me because they were afraid of my oversized schlong, and how all the Iranian women were hot for me after seeing me on TV, and how the Iranians thought it was a new reality show, "Iranian Idol," and how they all voted to elect me king, and said I was the best thing since the Prophet Muhammad, so that it behooved my captors to get me out of the country as soon as possible, with as many gifts as possible, so as to appease me.

The Iranians are denying any coercive techniques, so they can't naysay you without looking bad, and your fellow shipmates don't know jack, as you were all mainly kept in isolation, so why on earth would you admit to something as wimpish as crying yourself to sleep when no one knows any different without you telling them? Usually you can parlay a war story into getting your hole, but this load of shite will not even get your man a pity fuck.

Flicking. Yes, it's painful, but it's mainly irritating. It's certainly nothing to cry yourself to sleep over, even if it's Iranians doing the flicking. Anyone named "Arthur" should be well used to getting his shite kicked in, anyway. Where have the glorious traditions of English boarding schools gone to? The systematic torture and persecutions perpetrated by the bullying inmates of English boarding schools toward underclassmen were responsible for the toughening of the generations that won The Great War and defeated Hitler. Harassment and hazing put the "great" in Great Britain. Bring them back, I say, and let's have less of grown men snivelling.

Fat Sparrow

P.S. -- If Arthur Batchelor is unclear as to what psychological torment is, he should try writing a blog post with a 3-year-old screaming/singing "Ride, Sally, ride!" into a microphone, 2 feet away, while the Spouse Sparrow constantly increases the volume on the TV, which is blaring out the BBC News in a hopeless attempt to drown out the Nestling Sparrow. I work under these conditions every day. Take note, Arthur, you pussy.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Epiphany, or Transient Ischemic Attack? Sometimes it's hard to tell

It dawned on me when I was watching the news footage coming out of Iran, during that latest hostage kerfluffle....

They had shown a group of Iranian college students outside the British Embassy in Tehran holding up signs that said "Execute the British," "Death to Britain," "John 3:16," etc., and it came to me that Iran must be a beautiful, lovely, civilized place, just like the Iranians keep telling people as they're kidnapping or killing them. "Why," you ask? Because their college students actually have time to protest, and are allowed to protest. "Wait," I hear you say, "Here in America, our college students can protest!" Well, yes, theoretically they can, but when was the last time you actually saw one doing it? The 70's, hmmm? Yeah, I thought so.

Today's American college student doesn't have time to protest. The costs of college are at an all-time high, so the students either get Mommy and Daddy to pay for it, or they take out loans, or they work, or all of the above. Government grants are at an all-time low, so hardly anyone goes to college for free anymore. I blame this on the Baby Boomers. See, my conspiracy theory is this: The American government, royally pissed off at college campus Vietnam-era protests and the bad press they got for Kent State, has been lowering the grant money every year since then, until it's practically nothing. The Man was pissed off that all these hippies went to school on the government's dime, and then bitched and moaned about about all the government's policies. Solution: Cut college grant funding, the students will have to work, and they will not have time to protest. In fact, even if Mommy and Daddy are paying for college, if they see their student protesting, they are likely to protest to the student, because the student probably has too much free time on their hands, and shouldn't they be studying?

So, Iran is where I will be sending the Fledgling Sparrow to college, as they obviously have excellent government educational grants, and are willing to use and appreciate their right to free speech, however un-PC it may be.

Fat Sparrow

Friday, April 06, 2007

Iran: Cunts, or just twats?

What the fuck is up with those crazy Iranians?

"Hmmm, I think we'll kidnap some British military personnel, and then pretend like they're at the Oscars and give them gift bags."

You must have some serious shit in your hookah for that to sound like a good idea. Really, gift bags? They'll just have to declare them and pay taxes on them now, you know. Yet another example of Iran spreading its hairy, crusty buttocks and farting out "FUCK YOU" to Britain. And don't think I didn't get the innuendo behind those bags they gave them. "Carpetbaggers," indeed. I'd check those bags for bugs. No, I don't mean listening devices, I mean insects. You know what Third World countries are like.

I really liked how all the men got suits, but they dressed the woman up like a color-blind Russian sailor. What, no burqas in her size? She didn't look that big 'til I saw her in the video clip standing next to your man Mahmoud, and then I wondered, "Damn, why is she not just kicking his shit in? Sure, she'd get taken down by his bodyguards right away, but that would really make for great TV."

The newly released military personnel got back to Britain okay, and I'm eagerly awaiting the press conference in which one of them recants everything they said on Iranian TV, and says: "The Persians were a lot more valid when they were worshipping fire and chucking their dead to the vultures. Now that they're Muslim, they're a collection of cunts."

Fat Sparrow