Friday, November 18, 2011

My trusty old Ghinsu Knife

Every day, on at least two or three TV shows a commercial would appear demonstrating the durability of a fantastic kitchen tool: The indestructible, never goes dull, guaranteed for life: Ginsu Knife! A chef type guy wearing one of those puffy white hats and kitchen vest would go through a half dozen almost unbelievable maneuvers with that unwieldy appearing utensil. Cutting wood, slicing cheese, carving a turkey, chopping onions, then turned to sawing a nail in half before doing delicate food preparation once again. Nah! I thought. No way any knife could do all that and remain sharp. Guess what? I had to try it.

Over 40 years ago I decided to buy a genuine Ginsu Knife and check it out. After all, the advertisement stated that if I wasn't satisfied I could return it and get double my money back. Since then I've done enough testing to fill hours and hours of commercials. I don't know if they even sell them anymore. (Guaranteed the spyware folks will send me an email if they do) A few examples if we may:

I trimmed and cut down a 6 inch tree.
I trimmed the grass overgrowing my sidewalk.
I cut and chopped the seven evergreen bushes surrounding my house and dug out the roots too.
I sawed a dozen two by fours in half when my power saw burned up.
I slit a sixteenth inch thick steel panel to attach to my truck.
I carved a turkey, actually about ten or twenty turkeys and a boat load of chickens too.
I sliced onions, lettuce, ham, roast beef and cucumbers.
I chopped garlic and quartered tomatoes and modeled pumpkins for Halloween.
I cut rubber radiator hose and fuel line repairing my car.
I sliced fresh baked bread and divided hot cross buns.
I cut up cardboard boxes for my kids school project.
I cut logs in half for the campfire.
I scaled, filleted and dressed freshly caught bluegills, perch, bass and walleye.

Yesterday, I took that forty year old, never been sharpened, flawless appearing, shiny Ginsu knife and cut slices of tomato so thin you could see through them.

Now, I tell you, That was the best $19.95 plus shipping I ever spent.

The reason I bring this up is, every time I use it and am impressed by its durability I wonder what you and everyone else that bought a Ginsu Knife has done with them. Has anyone ever destroyed one? I've tried and failed. Just where is your Ginsu Knife anyway? When was the last time you used it? Whats the biggest, strangest, most unbelievable task you've accomplished with that trusty old Ginsu Knife? I wonder if they still make them.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fun with spyware

It's all becoming quite clear to me now. Duh! All those directed solicitations for diplomas and other such things in my email box are the direct result of something I sort of ignored up until now, Spyware! Spyware was a sort of mystery to me or rather I simply didn't pay attention to the concept because I was way too smart for it to affect me. Like my friend Sarah says so eloquently,"Yeah, you betcha!"

It took me a long time to catch on to the spyware tactics, how they work and exactly what they generated but I'm on to them now all right. Listen to this a second. I'm sure you naturally assume I'm talking about Internet spyware right? No, not necessarily. You know those specific store rewards cards you faithfully carry on your key chain? Spyware! Gas cards too. Spyware! Those credit cards you use every day, you remember that they sent you a pamphlet way too long to read thoroughly explaining their security when divulging any information about your transactions? Spyware! Virtually all your financials are infiltrated by some sort of spyware. Medical records, driving records and electrical usage is recorded and documented and spyware has a way of getting that information. You think I'm being a little paranoid don't ya? Think about this? If you aren't on the "do not call list" how do the solicitors know you might be in the market for a specific product. It's no accident senior citizens get a mailbox full of insurance offers neither. You buy a pair of shoes with a credit or debit card and what do you find folded neatly in your next Sunday paper delivery? Shoe sales!

I've figured out that spyware is just like this really huge type butterfly net, constantly moving back and forth across the information highway, capturing our bits of information and putting them into that big ole' advertising jar. You know whats really fun now that I know how it works? I often find these store rewards cards laying in the parking lot somewhere. If I use them I still get the discounted price and the original user gets all the email, snail mail and telemarketers too. I'm sure they wonder why, being only in their mid 20's and having two kids under age 5, why they get stuff about Medicare, rolling over an IRA, walkers, retirement villages, bus trips to the casino and Viagra. I think that's kind of fun don't you?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


One of the most annoying things I have to deal with on any given day as a business man is telephone solicitations. Business phones aren't able to be protected by the "Do not call list" It's a pitty. Don't get me wrong here. As a fellow tax payer and working person, I am happy for them and everyone concerned that they are working and paying bills. I also believe that many businesses get some really great deals from them. But to me they are an ever increasing annoyance and major interruption to my ability to earn a living myself. And maybe it's not so much that they call be all day long but more so in the disrespectful way they talk to me. Here are a couple examples:

"Hey, this is Jack, let me talk to my old buddy Joe?" I acknowledge that I am Joe. Then he proceeds to tell me he has a real deal for me but first he attempts to tell me a dirty joke, just between us guys. I hung up without further comment. He calls back and swears at me for hanging up and then hangs up himself when I asked who he worked for.

"Hi, this is Pamella, my goodness but you have a friendly voice Joe. Are you guys as busy as you were last year when I called?" Assuming she was a customer I answered that yes we were but still had room for more. "Oh, that's good to hear Joe. I have a wonderful way for you to save hundreds of dollars on your credit card transactions." I replied that I was set and didn't want to discuss the matter. Please take me off their list and do not call again. Seemingly caught off guard she said rather pointedly, "Who do you think you are talking to me that way? You're a real jerk!" Then hung up.

"Can I talk to the person responsible for paying your gas bill? I have an issue of immediate concern regarding your monthly payment." Concerned, I say that I am the one responsible thinking there is some problem with a check or something. "You sir are paying more for your gas each month than you should. Tell me, how much do you pay a month?" What? I ask. I thought you were from the gas company. "I am from such and such cooperative and I am calling to save you hundreds of dollars by joining our co-op." I say I am not interested in discussing the matter ands would they please take me off their list. "What kind of fool doesn't want to discuss saving money?" He said. and hung up.

"Hello, this is Marcia. Are you an owner, manager or employee of the company?" Yes, I'm the owner I said. "Well sir, I can sell you triple x rated movies for pennies on the dollar." I am not at all interested in triple x movies and would they please take me off their list and not call again. "Am I correct in hearing you say you don't like pretty women sir? Are you gay? I have those movies too." Take me off your list and don't call again. "OK sir, maybe this isn't a good time for you. I'll call some other time." She never heard a word I said did she?

One of the common factors besides being annoying is none of them ever asked if I had time to listen. My time is the most valuable thing I have. Because of that I have made a vow to never, ever buy anything, for any purpose from a telemarketer. Never. Even though some of what they say is kinda funny.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spam and fake college degrees, again.

Boy, they've got my number now. Those spammers I mean. A short while back I posted about advertisements for custom crafted high school and college diplomas. That's all it took. Every morning since, my mailbox is chock full of advertisements for my very own Ivy league diploma. All signed by the president, my name emblazoned across the front and set in a frame and everything. Can you believe it? Every stinkin day I'm bombarded with that junk. It must be some robot picked up the specific wording description from my posting and now has begun a relentless assault to make a sale. I will persist and send those pesky things to the spam police, every time! We will see who prevails in this war on fraudulent diplomas. (They do look kind of nice though.)

Spam is just another form of stalking I think. Unwanted attention or advances to the point of making me feel in danger. If the robot can infiltrate my email like that, and reporting it to the spam police doesn't stop it, then what is left to do? Take a hammer to my computer screen! But even if I do that the spam is still inside it waiting to point out that I deserve a new diploma. At one time, a long, long time ago, I created another email address with another server. I mean, what the heck, they're free, why not? I did it just in case I got contaminated on my regular address. I've never, ever told anyone about it neither just to be safe. I checked it this morning. Guess what? There is a mailbox full of diploma offers there too. That's just how smart that robot is ya know.

So is the life of a neophyte in the use and understanding of the Internet. Learning how to deal with such things keeps me sharp lest I grow bored. Being a student of the old ways makes me feel a little creepy though, like someone is watching my every key stroke. Reminds me of what a peeping Tom does with my computer being the window. Hey. wait a minute, I do use windows!
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