Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Identity Theft Meme?

My friend Chris recently posted one of those email surveys on his blog.  As I was reading through it something struck me.  Maybe it's my hightened sense of paranoia but it seemed to me that this little quiz is a data mining technique for identity thieves.  You know all of those little security questions that you have to answer on your bank's website?  How many of those can you find on the quiz below?  A lot.  Then this thing gets fired off to a ton of people.  Some you probably you don't know, some that are probably even untrustworthy.  With a little extra digging someone could take the info from the quiz below and have a pretty damn good chance of hacking your bank account.  Go ahead, read through it:

1. What time did you get up this morning?
2. Diamonds or pearls? Can't I have both?
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
6. What is your middle name?
7. What food do you dislike?
8. What is your favorite CD at moment?
9. What kind of car do you drive?
10. Favorite sandwich?
11. What characteristic do you despise?
12. Favorite item of clothing?
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
14. Favorite brand of clothing?
15. Where would you retire to?
16.What was your most recent memorable birthday?
17. Favorite sport to watch?
18. Farthermost place you are sending this?
19. Person you expect to send it back first?
20. When is your birthday?
21. Are you a morning person or a night person?
22. What is your shoe size?
23. Pets?
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
25. What did you want to be when you were little?
26. How are you today?
27. What is your favorite candy?
28. What is your favorite flower?
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
30. What is your full name?
31. What are you listening to right now?
32. What was the last thing you ate?
33. Do you wish on stars?
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
35. How is the weather right now?
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today?
37. Favorite soft drink?
38. Favorite restaurant?
39. Real hair color?
40. What was your favorite toy as a child?
41. Summer or winter?
42. Hugs or kisses?
43. Chocolate or Vanilla?
44. Coffee or tea?
45. Do you want your friends to email you back?
46. When was the last time you cried?
47. What is under your bed?
48. What did you do last night?
49. What are you afraid of ?
50. Salty or sweet?
51. How many keys on your key ring?
52. How many years at your current job?
53. Favorite day of the week?
54. How many towns have you lived in?
55. Do you make friends easily?
56. How many people will you send this to?
57. How many will respond?

See what I mean?  I'm never going to fill out one of those things again.  I bet you'll think twice before you do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Morning Education



"We as a nation have to ask ourselves what is going on?"
Our education system is failing, that's what's going on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random Things

Grossman's New Condo
Rex Grossman recently bought a condo in the new Trump Tower here in Chicago.  The unit cost him $2.68 million - he's making $3 million this year.  Grossman has a one year contract and just lost his starting job.  What could his realtor have told him that would have convinced him that buying a condo in Chicago is a good idea?  Let me take a stab at it:
  • You'll finally know what it feels like to be taller than someone else.
  • You'll be right by the river - the only thing in Chicago that stinks worse than you.
  • This is a great place to retire.
  • The windows don't open, so if you fumble it won't hurt anyone but yourself.

Red Eye "Journalism"
Yesterday, I noticed an article on the back page of the Red Eye in the "Red Hot" section - the celebrity gossip portion of the paper.  It was about Lindsay Lohan confirming on a radio show that she has been dating a woman.  The last paragraph of the article appears below:
At press time, no further comment about the interview was published on either woman's MySpace page or on people.com or usmagazine.com.
Good work, Team Red Eye.  Way to cover your bases.  If you're an aspiring journalist, make sure you at those items to your checklist.  Check MySpace?  Done.  Check People?  Done.  Check US Magazine?  Done.  This story is a GO!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Weekend

We had record rains here in Chicago over the weekend, but I wasn't in the city to enjoy it.  Instead, I was in South Bend for the Notre Dame-Michigan football game.  Guess what?  It was rainy there, too.

Every year, a group of my Notre Dame friends get together on a football weekend in South Bend.  We tailgate, share stories and some of us even go to the game.  This year we managed a decent sized crew and even though there were a few new additions (two newborns) we didn't have the full complement of people that we would have liked.  Regardless, we managed to have plenty of good times.

Because the weather wasn't very cooperative and Dee was on crutches, she decided not to go into the game with me.  I offered Dee's ticket to my friend Michael and he joined me in the north end zone to watch the game.  We were in the right spot for this game as six of the seven touchdowns (if I remember correctly) were scored on our end of the field.
 
That's kickoff.  Unfortunately there aren't many more pictures after that because it started raining very, very hard and electronic devices were not safe.
The game was a lot of fun to watch.  Michigan turned the ball over six times and the Irish took advantage.  It was the most fun I'd had in the stadium in a long time and it was the loudest I'd heard the stadium since I was in school.  It's still hard to tell if the Irish are a good football team, but they show signs of a good team of which there were none last year.  For now, I'm just going to enjoy the victories as they come because trying to break down this team after every single game is pointless.  They're still young and they'll be inconsistent which means that they could beat anyone or lose to anyone on any given day.  I'm just going to try to enjoy the ride.
In case you haven't heard yet, here's the final score:
 
And here's me after the game - smiley and soaked:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poor Baby

After Vince Young "disappeared" for four hours on Monday and police and Tennessee Titans officials were sent to track him down due to concern over his mental state, his mom said the following yesterday:
"What would you think if you were tired of being ridiculed and persecuted and talked about and not being treated very well, what would you do?  What kind of decision would you make?  He may not want to deal with it, but you have to get to that point before you make that decision first."
"It is hard, all he is going through right now.  He's hurting inside and out, but he will be fine if people are prayerful and help my baby boy out.  He is a young man.  He just needs a lot of love and support."
What would I do if I was tired of being ridiculed and persecuted?  I'd step the fuck up.  I'd do everything I could to improve and prove everyone wrong.  That's the decision I would make.  I certainly wouldn't disappear for a day.  I wouldn't pout on the sidelines and refuse to go back in because I got booed after my second interception.  Do you know how many interceptions Brett Favre has thrown?  288.  Even the best throw interceptions.  Hell, Tom Brady has thrown 86.  Peyton Manning threw six in one game last year.  Six!  How did he react?  He came back to lead the team to six straight victories.  Did you hear Archie Manning and his wife asking people to be kind to their "baby boy"?  No.  He went back out there and earned his huge contract.

Vince Young has a five-year contract that guarantees him $25.7 million and could possibly reach up to $58 million with incentives.  Earn it, buddy.  At least try to earn it.


Remember when Vince Young scored a six out of 50 on the Wonderlic test?  I think he may have scored his mental age.  (By the way, Wonderlic, Inc. considers people who score a 10 to be literate.)  The kid needs to grow up fast because quitting football - the thing that he is best at - is not going to make his life any easier.  Criticism doesn't stop just because you leave the NFL.  We all deal with it every day.  You're going to get criticized at any job.

Suck it up, Vince.  Get your knee healthy, get your head straight and play some damn football.  Just don't play so well that you beat the Colts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Enough!

For all that is good and decent, please stop showing the replay of Tom Brady's knee injury.  Not only is it disturbing to see, but why do we want to see one of the best players in the league suffering a major injury over and over again?  Obviously, I'm not a big Tom Brady fan but I still don't like to see anyone get hurt - especially not a thousand times.  I realize that Brady is the NFL's golden boy and if he's lost for the season it is a major story, but just report the news.  Please don't keep showing it over and over.

The Irish

Notre Dame beat San Diego State 21-13 yesterday.  I should probably leave it at that.  They didn't deserve to win.

I spent the first three quarters on my couch and pacing around the living room watching a team stuck in the past.  Everything felt like last season all over again.  I was just waiting for the final nail in the coffin.  Thankfully it never came.

This is not going to be the season that everyone has been expecting.  Most of the "experts" have been predicting seven to eight wins for the Irish.  Even with our soft schedule, that looks like it may be in jeopardy.  This is still a young team and while it may have grown up in that fourth quarter, it's going to be inconsistent.  I have a feeling that they're going to play to the level of their opponents (with the exception of USC - they'll get whipped).  They'll make just enough mistakes to keep the other team in the game and the fourth quarter will always be exciting.  Unfortunately, that could add up to more losses than wins.

However, there is still hope.  Jimmy Clausen looks like he will be a star.  Armando Allen showed flashes of brilliance and the defense played well when they weren't tired from being on the field for too long.  On Saturday, they didn't manage put all of that together until the fourth quarter.  Let's hope they can put four quarters together next Saturday when Michigan comes to town.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sickness

Listen, assholes.  If you are sick, don't come to work!  Stay home.  I know you're really important and you have lots of things to do but: 1) You're making everyone else sick so nobody gets anything done anyway.  2) The shit you need to do isn't life or death. 3) We have the technology for you to work from home - use it!

Are you wondering if you're sick enough that you need to stay home?  Here are some guidlines/questions to ask yourself:

1) If you're wondering if you're too sick to go to work, you're too sick to go to work.
2) If people don't recognize your voice over the phone, you're too sick to go to work.
3) If you can't stop coughing, you're too sick to go to work.
4) If you get so lightheaded that you fall down in the elevator lobby (this actually happened), you're too sick to go to work.
5) If you feel the heat radiating from your eyeballs, you're too sick to go to work.
6) If work is the most important thing in your life and you look down on people who take days off but you're sick anyway and your sneezes shake the entire floor, you first need to stop dressing like it's the 80s, then you need to get a freaking hobby, then you need to stay the fuck home and stop making us all sick.

Got it, assholes?  You better because if you don't stop coming to work and spreading your falling down disease, your sickness is going to be the least of your worries because I will make you dead.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Random Things

Some random things from my life and brain:

Crazy Day at the Gym
A few weeks ago I walked into the gym to the familiar stench of Icy Hot.  I knew immediately that Twinkletoes was working out.  Twinkletoes is a pornfully mustachioed fellow who runs on the treadmill on this tiptoes and tries to mask his horrible BO stench (he doesn't wash his clothes) by wearing Icy Hot.  Lots of it.  Enough that it makes the whole gym smell like Icy Hot.  Delightful.

I made my way into the locker room to change into my gear.  As I'm changing, I notice that the Indian fellow who runs the convenience store in our building comes in.  I continue to change and head over to the bathroom area of the locker room.  I notice that there are a pair of shoes sitting outside one of the bathroom stalls.  Then I hear a cellphone ring from inside the stall.  Suddenly, Mr. Convenience Store is yammering away on his cellphone while sitting in the stall.  Wait a second.  He's not sitting in the stall.  I can see no feet below the stall door.  He's squatting on the toilet.  Splash.  Splash.  Splash-splash.  He's got to be getting wet.  Time for me to go.

I plugged in my headphones and began my workout.  Everything was going well until I stepped off of the treadmill and headed over to the weight area.  It was then that I noticed a dude wearing khaki pants and dress shoes doing free weight shoulder presses.  Did I mention that he wasn't wearing a shirt?  No?  Well, he wasn't wearing a shirt.  What the fuck is going on?  Why is everyone in my gym crazy?

Since that day, things have been more normal, but not by much.


The Artist Formerly Known as Chad Johnson
Chad Johnson, the star wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, has changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco.  If you are not aware, Johnson wears number 85 for the Bengals and last season he came out with "Ocho Cinco" on his jersey.  You can see this in the photo below.


It turned out that it was simply a velcro strip that was placed over his actual nameplate.  However, now that he has changed his name to Ocho Cinco (which isn't even the correct Spanish for 85) he will be able to wear "Ocho Cinco" on his jersey.  I'm sure he thinks he's being original, but there are other, more famous athletes who have changed their names.  Remember how Muhammad Ali used to be Cassius Clay?  And remember how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar used to be Lew Alcindor?  Yeah, not original, Chad.  If that is your real name.

I think the Bengals should change his number just to mess with him.

Usher
I read that Usher is planning a new tour where he will play smaller "more intimate" venues for ladies only.  I can only assume that this will be to promote STDs - or rather his new album "Poon Hound."  By the time that tour is over you will be no more than six sexual degrees from sleeping with Usher.  I guarantee you that the rest of the Hip-Hop world is kicking themselves for not thinking of this first.

U.S. Open
Dee and I have been watching the U.S. Open nearly every night since it started.  We love us some tennis.  A few observations:
  • John McEnroe is great in the booth.  He's one of the few athletes that uses his playing knowledge to inform you about the match.  Plus, he's a great personality.
  • There's always been something about Serena Williams that has made me want to root against her.  There's always been something about Venus Williams that has made me want to root for her.  Last night's match changed that.  I still want to root for Venus, but now I also want to root for Serena.  She played her ass off in that incredible match and deserved to win and her interview afterwards was sweet and charming.  She earned another fan last night.
  • Mardy Fish looks like a guy who just came in off the street.  He wears the same shorts and shirt every match and they look like regular guy playing tennis.  However, he's played some bad ass tennis.  He took the first set from Rafael Nadal in impressive fashion.  Unfortunately, Nadal hammered him in the next three sets to move on.  Mardy still wins the hot wife competition, though.
  • Federer looks mortal and beatable, but keeps pulling out the wins.
  • Roddick will not win this tournament.  He does get to marry a supermodel, though.
  • Tennis players have hot girlfriends/wives.
My Wife
I have a hot wife.