Some like it hot...

... and, sure enough, some don't. Me, I like hot weather as much as The "Next" Bloke, who just so happens to be a guest on this blog today. How do you do, Mr. Bloke?

The, please.

Right, then. Tell, us, The, how was it that you came across that nickname, "Next"?

Well, now, it all started back when I was about twelve and I started going to the movies by myself. I remember being in line to the tickets and even though I would be first in line sometimes, nothing felt quite as nice as being "next" in line. You know, I'd just see whoever was in front of me get their turn and think, "Woohoo, I'm next"! When my mates found out how much I liked that special feeling, they began calling me "Next"."

And so you're known as The "Next" Bloke today.


Now, then, what we'd all like to know is how much do you like warm weather, The?

Not one bit, Shark, old chap, not one bit.

Thank you, then, The. I hope we'll be seing plenty more of you around here.

My pleasure.

That was The "Next" Bloke on Shark Nibbles, and he doesn't like warm weather. And so, as previously stated, neither do I and, for the issue, neither does my laptop charger, who, just last night, overheated twice and scared the lights out of me when I thought it had sent its soul to its maker. Turns out ten minutes in the freezer (in a plastic bag, mind you) did the trick... for another half hour.

So, my advice on how to deal with the heat, keep to the shade, drink plenty of fluids (cold, preferably) and put an ice pack on that laptop charger. If you don't have any, you can fashion one by soaking a rag, wrapping it in a plastic bag and putting it in the freezer. Works fine, if you don't mind sitching the makeshift ice pck every twenty minutes or so. This little trick did wonders for me last night.
You didn't think I'd wrap up without a secret message, did you?
Sizzling hot farewells.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark is dealing with the heat in his own way, i. e., dreaming of cooler places. Syberia sounds just right...

Blood drinkers, unite

Recently I found myself reading a would-be serious vampirism manual, by a Brazillian author, Paulo Coelho. If you have never read any of his work, count your blessings. If you've ever read anything by him then you'll understand how come my stomach churns every time I see six copies of "O Zahir" on display on a bookstore window like it's God's gift to readers.

This Practical Vampirism Manual, however, is different. It's not (supposed) to be fiction. This is (supposed) to lift the shroud of mysticism that surrounds vampires and bare the whole truth about them, that they exist and what's fact or fiction about them. Mind you, it's as poorly written as any other one of his works and has nary a speck of verifyable fact about it. In short, a bundle of laughs, if you think someone expected readers to swallow this codswallop.

One of the aspects it focusses on is how to recognise (and avoid, if you'd like) a vampire, and so I've compiled, from it's pages, a handy list of things to look out for:

     Well groomed, kind mannered, well spoken, attractive Europeans looking for one night stands are likely to be vampires;
     Bissexual men have "vampire" written all over them;
     Bissexual women are all vampires;
     Lesbians are vampires too. All of them.
     If you can read this you might be a vampire too.
At this point I'd like to remind you that I myself would never label anyone as "vampire" or anything else based on his/her sexual orientation, but it seems Mr. Coelho would disagree. Bear in mind, though, this is just for laughs. It cannot be any other way.

ArabianShark wonders what are the odds of running into a well groomed, kind mannered, well spoken, attractive European bissexual woman looking for a one night stand. Now paging Dr. van Helsing.

You just found another secret message

That'll work...

I wonder what posesses someone to send a chain e-mail claiming that for each person the e-mail is sent to, something will happen. The list is endless: that you might win a free cellphone, that some organisation will donate a minute amount of money for each time the messge is forwarded to help some ill and dying person, that some organisation will donate a huge sum if the message is forwarded more than so many times, that one's e-mail/MSN Messenger account will be deleted if the message isn't forwarded, that MSN will cease to be a free service unless so many names are signed and sent to Microsoft, that one's MSN Messenger account will remain free whereas all others will become a paid service if the holder's name is on the list to be sent to Microsoft... I could type all day and not list half the story behind these messages. I wonder what posesses someone to start one of these things. I suppose one could do it as a prank, but I can't possibly understand how on earth does one believe a word of those messages. What on earth posesses people to believe anyone has a means to track where the messsages will end up?

Honorable mention and single exception: the bonsai cat. This is a truly horrific practice, IMO. It consists of locking a kitten in a jar where his bones will take the shape of the container he's stuck in as he grows for decorative purposes. I've recieved mail rallying people to lobby against this practice. Lobbying is one thing, expecting miracles is quite another.

Just today I recieved a PowerPoint presentation attatchement (those are the worse... forward these, people, help viruses spread, please, I beseech you), which I treat with a little special care, i. e., dump into a decaying old would-have-been excuse for a computer which may not be hooked up to any network lest the network becomes haunted by evils unspeakble of and run it. This one claims that some organisation will donate six cents (yes, it's not a typo, six whole cents. A full nickle and a free penny! Lets hear it poor old Uncle Ebeneezer, if you remember him) to a dying baby for each person I forward the potentially dangerous file to. If only I kept the e-mail addresses of people I don't like... Now I can just imagine the company representative talking to the sick baby's parents, going "We might have the money to cure your child and we might even give it to you, but only if some e-mail message featuring our company's name gets sent all over the world. And yes, in case you're wondering, we're all callous, money-driven, insenitive, cruel, petty and evil bastards, looking for a would-be humanitarian publicity campaign. We figure one person knowing how kind we are and that we'll help your child is worth a dime in potential profits, so we'll spare a whopping 60% of that to treat your beloved baby. And don't ask how we'll know just how many people have read the message; it's magic, we've a pact with Satan of which you should not have known. Well, chop chop, mail away." That would have gone nicely.

Let's make the best out of this. I declare a competition. Comment with the most riddiculous pretence you've ever had the displeasure of receiving and we'll have a poll. The winner just might win a free Nokia 5G cellphone, complete with live video call, wireless internet access, bluetooth connectivity, esspresso dispensing function, a 100 free SMS package and a non-retractable blade built into the vibra-call motor that might shred your thigh to minced meat if you have your phone in your pocket when someone calls, but is just so handy to chop onions (mind you, warranty void if removed)... or not.

Spam-free farewells (because there is no processed canned spiced pork meat in them).

ArabianShark wonders if all the hexes he's been cursed with for breaking e-mail chains will eventually cancel each other out. Two wrongs dont make a right, but, given enough wrongs... who knows?