May 30, 2005
How to spend a lot of money on bandwidth
Avid club readers may have noticed the site going down a fair amount this month (although to be honest, I've gotten more complaints about benfine.com being down). I can only blame my poor planning. See, my hosting company gives me 80 gigs of transfer each month. After people download 80 gigs of stuff, they shut me down. The Bat-man movie is 20 megs. If I had done the math, I would have realized that if 4,000 people watched it, that would have been it. I also posted a torrent file, but if I had given it any thought I would have realized that a) most people don't know what a torrent file is, and b) if people have a choice between watching the movie in a browser and dicking around with bittorrent, they're just going to watch it in the browser. Oh yeah, and once the site goes down, the torrent is useless.
But all that boring tech stuff is neither here nor there.
May 22, 2005
I know you probably don't believe me, but this one's real too:
I received from US Patent Disclosure Document Number 492740 on April 24 2001. The government of Puerto Rico contracted a lawyer and he faxed me what ha said was a Patent Pending. Its application number is 10/869,714. Its title is Fast concrete house system for construction of houses and commercial structures. Id like to find out what is happening.
May 20, 2005
If you were wondering what I eat when I cry
Here's your answer:
May 16, 2005
I got a cease and desist letter from a British teenager
A month or so ago, an email came into my inbox that almost deleted as spam. Something caught my eye about it before I hit delete, though. It was a cease and desist letter. I've always assumed that I'd end up with one eventually, but I was surprised from the source. It was from the webmaster of a thecorpse.com, angry that I had registered thecorpse.net. The letter is as follows - I've bolded the funnier parts and I was going to underline all the spelling and grammar errors, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
Subject: CEASE AND DISIST - WWW.THECORPSE.NET
Dear Mr Carlough,
As webmaster and admin for The Corpse Forums (www.thecorpse.com) owned by
Mr. Richard Benson, we recently became aware of your registration and use
of the domain name www.thecorpse.net registered on 11/17/2004.
Your unauthorized use of The Corpse's brand in the world wide Internet
market and purposeful attempts to delude the public into believing your
site has any relation whatsoever to Mr Benson and his website, is a direct
infringement and dilution of The Corpse.com's rights to the domain name
It should be noted that TheCorpse.com was registered by Mr Benson
11/19/2003 almost a year prior to your use of the mark.
Please note that TheCorpse.com is dedicated to vigorously defending its
web identity rights in the marks "The Corpse" and "The Corpse.com.
In addition, usage of phrases such as "the red headed league" and "Is that
or is that not a red-head?" are believed by Mr Benson and his associates
to be a direct slur and attempted insult of his name and a direct attempt
to lull any potential mistaken browsers into believing your site is
thecorpse.com because of Mr Bensons color of hair. The Association of
these phrases and www.theredheadedleague.com with www.thecorpse.net is a
purposeful and direct attempt to mislead potential web surfers and has
diluted thecorpse.com's effective search discovery on search engines such
as www.google.com and www.lycos.com to name but two.
Accordingly, you are hereby directed to immediately cease and desist in
your use of the infringing site and mark and all references to red hair.
We expect full compliance within 48 hours before further legal action will
be taken by Mr Benson and his staff.
Should you have any questions, please contact the undersigned.
Very truly yours,
I didn't know what thecorpse.com was at the time, but I've since come to find out that it's an online forum for teenagers to talk about rap and call each other fags. I invite you to visit the site to see all the great fag calling yourself, but you should know that most of it is not safe for work.
So, after the webmaster sent the letter, he closed the forums to unregistered members so they could giggle about their prank to each other, but it didn't matter, because I could see everything they were saying in the lo-fi version of the forums, which he apparently forgot to shut down. You can see what they said about me here.
I sent them this response:
I'm glad you contacted me. I am very interested in buying
thecorpse.com. Please email me immideately in regards to this
transaction. I am prepared to pay up to fifty US Dollars.
Thank you and best wishes
Well, as you can see from this, they didn't buy it. Did I lay it on too thick? Not thick enough? Well, no matter. I think thecorpse.com learned a lesson and so did I. And that lesson, was, I don't know, be yourself. Oh, no wait, I did learn something. I learned what "getting sonned" means. I think.
May 10, 2005
You are an idiot, Phil Finney
I know you're all expecting more on The Bat-man, but I've got to get this off my chest. As some of you may know, I started a band after Conquistador broke up called The US Patent Office. I came up with the name, I thought it was funny, and no, I didn't know that there was a band called The Postal Service at the time. We're for the most part defunct now, but I keep the site up and running just because I can. Much to my surprise, I got an email today through the contact page on the uspo site. It read:
I have U.S.patent# 5711608
I believe maintenance fee is due soon. Can I pay this directly to U.S.P.O.?
What is the fee.? Is there a form for this?
Sincerely; P.F, Finney
I assumed this was some kind of joke at first, but just for kicks, I googled patent 5711608. I was surprised that Google knew I was looking for patents and provided me a direct link to the actual government US Patent Office record, but that's a whole different story. You can look at the patent itself, maybe it holds the key to this enormous practical joke that's being played on me, but it was too boring for me to finish and find out.
I then googled the guy's email address and it seemed like the owner of that address was the owner of the patent in question (I also found out his first name is Phil). Could this guy really have thought that our web site was for registering and renewing patents? Let's take a look at the logs to get an idea of how this all went down:
09/May/2005:16:12:17 - Phil clicks from a yahoo search on uspo onto our site.
09/May/2005:16:12:37 - Twenty seconds later, he clicks the contact link. At this point, you should seriously look at our site. It really doesn't look like a government agency.
09/May/2005:16:19:07 - It takes him about seven minutes to draft that message, it probably took him six of those to figure out how to fit in all the weird punctuation.
And our story comes to a close there. Was this for real? Maybe. But, no, it couldn't be. But if it was, Phil Finney, you are truly an idiot.
May 9, 2005
The Bat-man strikes
Wow. I'm overwhelmed by the response to The Bat-man. So is the League server, as you may have noticed. I threw a couple more bucks to my hosting company to give me some more bandwidth that'll hopefully keep us up throughout the month. I'm almost afraid to make too big a post here, every byte counts. A technical explanation of what I did wrong and maybe a couple vaguely entertaining, name-dropping stories of how The Bat-man came to be, soon to follow.
May 5, 2005
Man, I finally have something new to put up on redheadedleague, seems like it's been ages. You may be familiar with the sucky The Bat-man comics that I drew a while back. Well, out of the kindness of their hearts, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long, Josh Hamilton, and Callie Thorne helped me, James Duffy, and a frantic crew bring The Bat-man to life. Here it is:
May 4, 2005
One day at Whole Foods
I was in the checkout line when one of the workers shouted out, "All lines are express."
A line can't be express if all the lines are express. To be express, you have to be quicker than another line. He could have just as easily said, "All these lines are the slowest," and it probably would have been more accurate.
I just trimmed my nose hair for the first time.
Does that make me an adult?