Do you know Jesus?

Spam gets creative

If you went through J-school, you learned the importance of writing a catchy news headline. Spammers, apparently catching on to the fact that most of us don’t click on the “Increase the size of your dong” e-mails, are developing new ways to snag your attention as you scan the list of e-mails in  your spam filter.

While there are still plenty of subject lines reminding us that our lovemaking is inadequate and Rolex watches impress others, spammers are getting creative by using news-related subject lines.

Many fall into the entertainment news genre and play on the fact that your average person may have only the slightest idea of what’s happening with celebrities. For instance, maybe you heard that something or other happened to Shia LaBeouf last weekend, but you’re a little hazy on the details. So, the subject line “Shia loses hand in accident” may sound credible enough to draw your click. Or one we saw a few weeks ago: “Angelina dies in miscarriage”—you may have had a foggy idea that Angelina Jolie was pregnant, so isn’t it possible that she DID die in miscarriage? Click.

Some touch on Internet topics that you, an e-mail user, might naturally be interested in, such as: “FBI Watching Possible Terrorists on Facebook.” (This would, of course, be of especial interest to terrorist who are using Facebook.) Others, of course, are silly enough to immediately trigger suspicion. Try: “Elton John Dies in Rocket Ship” (oh, the irony!) or “Cannibal Tribe Invades Civilisation” (well, I’m guessing by the British spelling that they’ve only reached the UK, so I should have plenty of time to make myself look less delicious).

Of course, if you were to click through to these e-mails, it’s the same garbled spiels for low-cost Viagra and knockoff handbags. Eventually, people will get wise to these “almost” headlines and spammers will have to change tactics again to catch your attention.

What makes you click?

—Bellapoison

Of course, when you click, you

God loves fools

As you may have figured out if you read my April post, “It’s a Miracle?”, I enjoy thinking about what the Bible and Christian tradition have to say about the value of knowledge, intelligence and analysis. In the earlier post, I wrote about how even a children’s song reflects some Christians’ lack of interest in how the world works beyond “God did it.”

Lately, I have been reflecting on what the Bible actually says about intelligence. If God created humans and their functions, including thought and reasoning, would he not value brainpower and encourage us to use that faculty to the best of our abilities?

Let’s look at these verses from I Corinthians 1:18-31… Continue reading

Lou Reed, 1999(?)-7/12/2008

I couldn’t stay in the room while he did it. I could not watch the veterinarian put Lou Reed, my cat, to sleep.

Lou Reed (a female, despite the name) had always been an overweight, grumpy cat, so I was surprised when she seemed thinner and more friendly this past week.

By Friday night, she was lethargic and shaky. She seemed disoriented, but only when I picked her up to put her in the litterbox did I notice she was too weak to stand. She fell over in the litter and struggled to even turn over. Continue reading

The world of depreciation

The RV search continues.

While a house, even in these sub-prime fiasco times, can generally be considered an investment, something that gains value with time, a recreational vehicle is basically a study in depreciation. Most people understand that their shiny new car loses 15 to 20 percent of its value as soon as it leaves the dealer’s lot. And that car 2008 Lazy Dazeloses more and more value over the life of the loan (assuming you financed it and didn’t pay cash), usually four to five years.

But while you may be upside-down on your auto loan in the beginning, things usually straighten out a couple of years in, and you can often break even (or even make a small sum, if you’ve pampered your car) if you sell it or trade it in. And when your loan term is up, your 5-year-old car is still worth a decent amount.

RVs are another beast. Two factors are at work here: Continue reading

hey dudes

Sometime ago I developed an interest in Mormonism. I am open-minded but my interest was and is more a scholarly pursuit than an attempt to find religion. I am interested in why anyone does anything. Thinking about religion makes the brainbaby kick, especially in the area of motivation. It seems to me the great motivators are religion, biology and money, in no particular order. Sometimes those run together. Sometimes I put biology at the top and consider religion and money as products of our flawed genes. However, most reasons given for one’s behavior can often be traced to these three general headings. I am consistently amazed and horrified at the behavior of the faithful.

My interest in Mormonism either began or was fueled by three things. (Isn’t three such a nice religious number?) The three things were Mitt Romney’s (now unsuccessful) bid for the presidency, the book Under The Banner of Heaven and the television series Big Love. I don’t remember which of the three came first. Depending on who you listen to, Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. I have heard a similar claim about Islam. It seems Mormonism, Islam and atheism are claiming the defectors from other religions. By the way, I highly recommend Big Love and Under the Banner of Heaven. I can not, however, recommend Mitt Romney for the highest post in the land. Continue reading

The future…on wheels?

I have known for a while that I need a change. Work, after 6+ years, has become a rut. I have never lived outside of Texas. I’ve visited fewer than 10 of these United States.

The answer may be on the horizon in the form of…an RV.

The problem—or at least, our problem—with trying to buy an RV is too many choices. Do we get a truck and trailer? Or maybe it would be more convenient to get a Class C motorhome? And it’s a lot of work determining which manufacturers are worth a damn and which ones build shoddy, rolling time bombs.

So far, we’re looking at anything and everything and quickly becoming overwhelmed with information. We know we need: a permanent bed (I don’t want to sleep on a fold-out sofa), space for our dogs, a decent shower, and decor that falls into the category of “not-godawful.”

If money was no object, we’d just go buy a diesel pusher and pretend we’re country music stars:

Holiday Rambler Class A

Since money IS an object, we’ll be looking at something much smaller.

—Bellapoison