Daily Brian

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

$1 to 6 People... I hate these things...

If you ever peruse message boards, you have seen those "send $1 to 6 people and post this message on a bunch of boards and put your name on it and you get rich" type crap. Hopefully, you have never fallen for this nonsense. The newer ones use PayPal instead of regular mail.

Anyway, I am building a "sucker list" for future misuse. I have been compiling e-mail addresses and mailing address/names in Excel. I have 2 different files, 1 for email, and the other for snail mail. If these people are gullible enough to send their personal info out on the web, they will buy that bargain $2000 vacuum cleaner or fill out another credit card application. I know, you think I'm evil. Thinking about and creating the list isn't evil, though. What I may do with it would be. I could either use it to try to help them not fall for such obvious scams, or I could sell the list as a "guaranteed suckers list" to various companies that feed off the gullible. I could even be far more devious and attempt to con them myself with some diabolical scheme.

Those who know me know that I would be a very successful criminal if I weren't so darn nice. So, I'm open to suggestions regarding what to do with this list. I have thought of publishing a newsletter and using the list for my "subscription". However, I have nothing of value to write in the newletter other than "don't fall for these Ponzi schemes" and perhaps a link to my blog.

Right now, I have over 100 email addresses and those are only from AOL message boards. I had over 500 before, but my computer died. It took me about 20 minutes to find the 100 emails and eliminate double entries. With a few hours effort web-wide, I'm sure my list would swell to several thousand.

Why is it that only I think up this kind of stuff?

Annual Credit Report

If you weren't already aware, all Americans are entitled to a free credit report from each of the big 3 credit agencies each year. You must go to the federally run central agency in order to do this for free. If you go to Experian, Equifax andTransUnion seperately, you get charged.

I paid for mine back in February and found a great number of errors. I had never looked at my credit history prior to that. I disputed the errors online and when I got my free credit report last week, those errors were all gone.

Not to condone the wrong behavior, but you can dispute everything...whether it's valid or not. They send the dispute to whoever said you owe money. They have 60 days to validate that the claim is still active. If they don't, voila. It's gone. If they do, no harm no foul. It's just you asking if you had paid it yet or not. There were so many errors on mine, I just disputed everything. When it came back, I know some of the valid ones disappeared as well as the errors.

Also, if you owe money to a hospital or doctor, you can add a note that says "medical". When someone checks your credit for lending purposes, they ignore medical debt.

Again, I'm not condoning the misuse of this information. I'll post a permanent link in the ol' links section.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Telemarketer/Junk Mail Revenge...

For junk mail:
1) Always save your junk mail. Keep the addresses to send stuff.
2) Always save the "pre-paid" envelopes. I've been doing this for years.
3) Maintain a current list of addresses and phone numbers of people you don't like including junk mailers and telemarketers (see #2 below).

When you are sent a piece of junk mail, scan the "pre-paid" envelope and print about 50 more on your own envelopes. The company that recieves it has to pay for the privilege of recieving it. Put whatever you want to in the envelope when you send it out. You could put someone else's address in there and request some credit cards or whatever. DO NOT put anything they sent you that has a barcode, your name/address or letter code/serial number. They can track that. I don't put any of their stuff in the envelope.
With the ongoing list of addresses you aquire, start filling out forms for things you KNOW are going to recieve junk mail; ie. surveys and such. Use the address of the junk mailers for them. Imagine how much junk mail the junk mailers would get if just a handful of people did this.

For Telemarketers:
1) Start with the "Do Not Call" link on this page.
2) While speaking to them, try to sound interested and ask their name, the business name, who their parent company is, the address of the business, and a toll-free number to call them back. They have to give you all of this info BY LAW. Write this stuff down, particularly the toll-free number and the jerk who called you.
3) Maintain a list of addresses and phone numbers of people you don't like including the telemarketers.

When they call, keep them on the phone as long as possible. The longer they are on the phone with you, the fewer people they can harrass and therefore, smaller commissions/sales. Tell them at any point you feel like, the numbers of some of the "friends" on #3. Make sure you tell them they are not allowed to say where the reference came from. They can't if you tell them not to. Use the toll-free numbers they give you when filling out credit card applications or surveys. They get charged every time they recieve a call on their toll-free line. Remember, they can't put their number on the Do Not Call registry because they are a business. If you want to be polite or rude, it doesn't really matter. I go back and forth. Just make sure the rudeness comes AFTER you get their information.

When you fill out your junk mail stuff (above) use the name of the telemarketers that called you and the address/phone number. Just imagine when they are at work getting 10 credit card offers each day and they are recieving 10 or more personal calls (all telemarketers).

When you are sleeping, change your computer modem dialer (if you have dial modem) to the toll-free number of your choice with the settings set to infinite redial. If it doesn't hear the crackle of a modem on the other end, it hangs up and calls again. I haven't done this since I had my first computer 11 years ago (I think I set it up to call Ray one night, I don't remember). My home phone number is allowed 400 free calls a month. We only use about 100. I could let it run for 1-2 nights like this and not worry about going over my free calls. Remember, a business is charged for each call, whether it is incoming or outgoing. My sister has unlimited local and long distance. She could let her modem run for a month straight if she wanted to. However, she has cable modem, so it wouldn't work for her.

I have been thinking about getting a 900 number for here at the house. When a telemarketer calls I'll transfer them to my 900 line and let them chat at me all day for $3 a minute. I don't know if I could get away with this, but it would be fun.

I wouldn't be writing any of this crap if it weren't for some schmuck waking me up to try telemarketing to me. Now you have the bulk of what I do to torment these jerks.


I work 3rd shift. For those who don't know, that means I sleep during the day. Telemarketers are souless beings who prey on the weak minded. Those who disagree must be telemarketers.

Anyway, I was sleeping and got a phone call from "Buckmasters" or something and he wanted to know if I deer hunt. I asked him at least half a dozen times to get to the point or simply "what do you want". I told him I was about to hang up and he said "all right then" and I hung up. I still have no idea what he wanted.

At my office I have to pay 8 cents every time a telemarketer calls me. I get on average 3 telemarketing calls per day. Add that up and it's about 15 bucks a month that I am charged for the privilege of receiving calls that disturb me from working (actually, they disturb my dad and sister from working because I'm at home taking telemarketing calls while trying to sleep). I can't add my business to the "Do Not Call Registry" as they do not allow businesses to use it. It is strictly for residences. Click the link to sign up.

I have my fax machine turned off now. My customers have to call to tell me to turn on my fax so they can send me blueprints. If I leave it on, I have to pay 8 cents for an incoming junk mail fax plus my paper and ink. They never have a toll-free "unsubscribe" number either. Either way, it would still cost me 8 cents to tell them not to fax me again. You have no idea how many times I have answered the phone to have it scream "BEEEEEP" in my ear. AND... my fax number is unpublished.

I loathe telemarketers and hope they all smoke a turd in hell for each unsolicited call they have ever made. I take that back. Let's make that for every second call they make to the same phone number. The first cold call can be forgiven...I guess. Every business who's primary source of sales is telemarketing ought to be punished severely. Maybe bare bottom spankings for all management and owners... and the hot chick telemarketers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Here's to My Issues...

I'm incredibly ADD. Rhonda says I'm a "dabbler". I get into things briefly, get bored and move on to something new. Drives her nuts.

A brief list of some hobbies I have tried in no particular order (some of them I am still doing):
1 paintball
2 model rockets
3 cub scouts
4 girl scouts
5 video games (all systems)
6 musical instruments
a guitar
b bass guitar
c cornet
d clarinet
e dulcimer
f mountain dulcimer
g recorder
h harmonica
i flute
j tuba/sousaphone
k baritone
l piano
7 Magic: The Gathering
8 Dungeons & Dragons
9 Vampire: The Masquerade
10 Learning French
11 Tae Kwon Do (and other martial arts)
12 reading (I'm so far-sighted it hurts my eyes)
13 comics (Hawkeye, Ambush Bug, Deadpool, Captain America)
14 website design
15 college
16 hunting
17 archery
18 backpacking
19 being a member of a band (at least 10 that I remember)
20 helping to complete a D&D program called TavernMaker (see links)
21 blowgun, rifles, BB guns, soft air guns

The list would be a lot longer, but I'm too bored to continue. I'm done. Maybe I'll post some more links.

Look Better?

I figured before I wasted to much effort changing stuff I would try to make this thing look decent. I also had to change the timestamp. For some reason this thing had me at Greenwich +11.

So, does it look better?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Getting the Links Up

Links are a pain in my butt. Now I remember why I gave up on my old website.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

First Thing

I have a blog. Now I'm cool too.