Monday, September 29, 2008

When The Legend Becomes Fact, Think The Legend.

At the risk of getting all Nancy Grace on yo' assiz, the more I read of this totally bizarre saga, the more I'm inclined to feel almost sorry for Casey Anthony. And today's events are no exception.

Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey Anthony reportedly named as a suspect in the case of her missing daughter, today denied any involvement in the case, saying she doesn't even know the family

Fernandez-Gonzalez, said that she looked at an apartment and filled out a form at the complex where Anthony said she dropped off Caylee before she disappeared.

"I just went to look at an apartment and filled out an information card," Fernandez-Gonzalez said. "My suspicion is they probably gave her [Anthony] the information from the card."

The card included the names of two of her daughters and the make and color of her car, which is the same information that Anthony gave the police.

John Holmes - yes, that one - once concocted a story with his manager to tell in interviews at the height of his fame, to make him sound more interesting and exotic than "farm boy from Nowhere, Ohio with freakish appendage, abandons his ultra-conservative wife to make 8mm loops and become an LAPD snitch". The story was that a wealthy female English socialite/wife of a business professional/whatever had paid for him to take several trip per year to visit and... ahem... 'service' her. All fabrication, but towards the end of his career, whether it was mental erosion due to massive drug abuse or a case of telling the story so often his head had convinced him that it had indeed happened, Holmes, making idle smalltalk one day, turned to his manager and said "hey, remember when I used to go visit that woman..."

One wonders if Casey Anthony is at this point, either due to some form of mental illness or 'print the legend'itus, that having concocted a story and repeated it in her head and to police so many times, is it indeed fact to her? She, after all, still plays the increasingly tenuous 'innocent' card and sticks steadfastly to her original claims despite the mountain of evidence against her that overwhelmingly points to the fact that she's probably guilty and looks to be going down for a very long time.

But they also said that about OJ, didn't they?

Friday, September 19, 2008

They Would Not Listen, They Did Not Know How. Perhaps They'll Listen Now.

I don't watch local TV much anymore, but when I do, I invariably encounter buffoonery in one form or another. Sometimes it's a pitifully produced local commercial, sometimes it's cringe-worthy reportage, sometimes woeful anchoring. One shouldn't mock. We're not in New York City, baby. It's West Virginia. It *should* be a training ground for teh teevee n00bz to get better, but one would like to think that whilst training, people would at least *try* to get things right.

This evening, on one of the Charleston stations, I caught part of a report about some event or other happening this weekend, called, bafflingly, "Starry Starry Night". The reporter chirpily quipped, "Starry Starry Night! Which is also the title of my favourite Van Go painting!" Like, zomg!!11 teh gr8 coinsydense!11

Firstly - and let's get the somewhat understandable error out of the way first - she prounounced his name "Van Go". Coming from a country that is just as guilty of mispronouncing the famous Dutch painter's name ("Van Goff"), I shouldn't complain. But, if one is to split hairs, phoenetically, it's "fingoch", as one word, with a hard G and "och" as in "loch". But, as the phlegm-loaded "ccchh" sound isn't one that's native to Americans (or the English for that matter), I'll give her a free pass. Ish. I still think people should try harder to get it right, rather than plumping for "Van Go". That's what you should say when your minivan won't start, not how you address a man who is, arguably, the finest of the post-impessionists.

Secondly - No, "Starry Starry Night" is NOT the title of your favourite "Van Go" painting. It's the first line in a Don MacLean song. What you're thinking of is "THE Starry Night", or, if you're feeling particularly pretentious, "De Sterrennacht". If you were such a big fan of Mr. Go, you'd know that.

Thirdly - van Gogh walks into a bar, and Paul Gauguin is sitting there. "Alright, mate?" says Gauguin, "can I get you a drink?" "No thanks, " says van Gogh, "I've got one 'ere." (say it out loud.) Also, technically wrong, as van Gogh only cut off his earlobe (which he sent to a prostitute he was in love with), but never let accuracy get in the way of a good joke.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Today, my bank informed me that I'm now eligible for a wonderful new scheme! Wa-hoo! I've made it! I belong!

If my checking account falls below zero - which is invariably - instead of an overdraft fee of twenty five dollars, they will transfer money from my savings account to cover it! How awesome is that?

< / sarcasm >

First off, how ridiculous is it to have an "overdraft fee" at all? If I've got no money in my account, where am I supposed to find twenty five dollars to pay it? Secondly, check out the small print: instead of the twenty five buck overdraft fee, there's now a minimal ten dollar fee for the transfer. Yes my dears, they are charging me ten dollars of my own money, for moving my money from one of my accounts to another of my accounts. The really funny thing was that the teller was so excited to tell me this, like she was handing over a big comedy outsized cheque, a la Ed McMahon. Oh thanks, Mrs Teller! Thanks for providing such wonderful service whereby I get shafted by your crappy piece of shite bank AGAIN.

Now, I'm not a monster. I can, at least, somewhat understand the philosophy of ATM fees (that's Automatic Teller Machine - sorry to disappoint all you fans of gonzo porn). I can't defend how they keep going up, but I can at least understand them. What I'm having trouble with is the bank (Chase, in case you were interested) charging me money for moving money from one Chase account in my name, to another Chase account in my name. WTF am I paying for, exactly? This pish is all automated. It's not like some drongo in a blue sweater has to take time out of her busy day to do it manually. Where is my ten spot going, exactly?

After I was told of this exciting offer (eeee! give it to me one more time!) the thought of automation struck me, and I was reminded of simpler days in the life of Spikey; when I wore a younger man's clothes. Now, I was never a big bang whizz at programming my clunky old shoebox Commodore 64, but I did have a somewhat working knowledge of the programming language BASIC. It's been a looong time since I tampered with BASIC, but I tells you what... I bet I could, in less than an afternoon, write a very simple little program that would automate - for free, mind'y - the savings-to-checking transaction. All with those funky little sideways triangles. What you're seeing here is a simplified version of the program, which would require "checking" and "savings" to be represented by what's called a 'string' command. The 'string' command - which happens to be a dollar sign - would just throw confusion into the mix, since we're dealing with money. So, all you BASIC nerds who are probably already composing a far better and more effective program to post in the comments section, take that into consideration. Also take into consideration that I've edited this post four times now to correct places where my BASIC programming goes all weird. I fix it and within a day or so, it's wrong again. Particularly line 50 - maybe Blogger was built on BASIC and it's trying to put money into my account.

10 REM SPIKE IS A SEXY EFFING BEAST YPRICK (that line's just so anyone who performs a runstop knows just who is in the drivers seat here. REM commands don't generally like punctuation, so they tend to look like a text-mad eighteen year old wrote them.)
20 PRINT "I DID THIS FOR FREE, CHASE. SO G.T.F" (that will print that statement on the screen. First. Thing.)
30 REM ALRIGHT ENOUGH DICKING ABOUT HERE IT COMES (this means that the fun's over and it's on to the real sheet.)
50 IF CHECKING <>(easy stuff here. If my checking account is less than zero, it forwards you to line 70. If it's more than zero (ha!) then it tells you 'ALL IS WELL'. Reassuring, huh?)

Alright, here's where I get fuzzy on BASIC, so I'm winging it here. But you'll get the general idea.

(this line, if I had a better memory, would be the command that would move a pre-determined amount of money from savings to checking. As it stands, I'm fuzzy on my commands and, as I said, it would take an afternoon of re-learning the basics of BASIC. Don't judge, piety is a very unattractive quality.)
100 GOTO 10

And there you have it. A simple little routine - a free routine - that does, for free, what Chase wants to screw me out of a tenner for. And in BASIC! You realise that there are Word documents on your computer that take up more memory than was in a Commodore 64?

And so, in closing,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oi! Watch It, You!

Yeah, I know, I know. There are far better things on The You Tube to watch than my bizarre fizzog, but I thought this would be a fun experiment that I'd love your thoughts and comments on. Ladies and gentlemen and ladies; submitted, as the late Rodman Edward Serling would have quipped, for your consideration - Rage-TV.

Share and enjoy. Pass it on to friends (or enemies). Embed it on your own site. I'm looking for as much feedback as possible. But here's the question; do you think it's worth doing more this way, or is it just pointless and daft?