30 December 2005


This morning I checked an email address I use infrequently and was “pleased” to learn that I had won the Euro equivalent of $943,400.16 (see the copied email below). I haven’t won that much money in an unsolicited foreign sweepstakes/lottery for nearly a year. It really is very kind of questionable foreign entities to be so generous as to give away money at no benefit to themselves while promptly notifying the winners of all the sensitive personal information they need to divulge in order to claim their prize. I mean they even provided me with an overseas phone number to call where they can then take control of my phone line and make unauthorized calls amassing insanely expensive charges for myself, which I will be powerless to eradicate from my phone bill. But hey, who cares… I can afford it now. I’m rich!

Seriously though, I hope no one falls for these scams. Even a simple Google™ search came up with twenty different results for pages warning about this particular phone number.

Phishing scams are another type of fraud that really annoy me. If you EVER get a link to follow in your email, even if it appears legitimate, just take the few extra seconds required to type in the URL you know is correct, rather than blindly following the link. Those few seconds might save you years of grief while you try to explain away the second and third “you” traveling around the country and living off your money.

Phone numbers and email address intentionally removed from email below just in case you haven't yet realized this is a scam.

Universal Loterij!!!
Kikenstraat 1743
1104KG Amsterdam
(Customer Services)
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
Batch: 24/00319/IPD

Dear Winner,

We happily announce to you the draw (#1024) of the NETHERLAND NATIONAL LOTTERY,online Sweepstakes International program held on Saturday 21th october 2005.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number:56475600545 188 withSerial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers: which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category i.e match 5 plus bonus.You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of ( Eight Hundred Thousand Euro) in cash credited to file XYL /26510460037/05 .This is from a total cash prize of 8 million Euro shared amongst the (10) lucky winners in this category i.e Match 1 plus bonus.All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions,associations,and corporate bodies that are listed online. This promotion takes place weekly.Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated in your play coupon.In view of this, your Euro 800,000.00 ( Eight Hundred Thousand Euro) would be released to you by any of our payment offices in Europe.Our European agent will immediately commence the process, to facilitate the release of your fund , do provide to this office the following information : Name: Date of Birth: Sex: Occupation: Tel/Mobiel: Fax Number: Country Code: Email: Nationality: Next of Kin: File Reference Number: Serial Number: Ticket Number: Draw Lucky Numberer: For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Please be warned. To file for your claim, please contact our claims agent:Overseas Claims UnitNetherland Lottery FiduciaryDr Edwind BrefordEmail: [email address removed] Tel:+##-###-###-### Fax:+##-###-###-###. Our European agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him. You may wish to establish contact via e-mail with the particulars presented above citing the batch and reference numbers to this letter.Our winners are assured of the utmost standards of confidentiality, and press anonymity until the end of proceedings, and beyond where they so desire. Be further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality until the end of proceedings to circumvent problems associated with fraudulent claims. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Goodluck from me and members of staff of the Netherland NATIONAL LOTTERY.

Yours faithfully,
Online co-ordinator for Netherland NATIONALLOTTERY,

P.S. If I don't blog for a while it's because I'm brainstorming how to spend my million dollars.

28 December 2005

Death Wears Bunny Slippers

I have been asked why “death wears bunny slippers.” [See patch below] Since there is a very short and simple reason, I will use an unnecessarily long story to explain.

As you may or may not know, Missile Combat Crews pull alert (the time when we are actively in charge of ICBMs in a flight area) for approximately 24 hours. This excludes driving time, briefings, some inspections, etc. We show up for work at 0730 hrs (7:30 a.m. for the non-military types) or 0830 (8:30 a.m.) depending on the time of year. If all goes well, we get home around 1400 (2 p.m.) the following day.

There are always two of us in the capsule, and most of the time it is permitted for one individual to be in rest status (sleeping). This is perfectly logical. You don’t want Air Force officers hallucinating launch messages or damaging the system in some other way due to sleep deprivation. Work with nuclear weapons isn’t as error forgiving as say serving cold fries at a fast food establishment – but I digress.

Because we will be sleeping in the launch control center (LCC) and are hidden away behind two very large, very heavy blast doors, after changing over with the offgoing crew we change into what we call our “alert gear” (that is assuming that there is no maintenance, tours, or anything of that nature going on in the LCC). Prime alert gear is usually something comfortable to sit and sleep in which you don’t mind getting smelly and probably wouldn’t be caught dead in out in public. There are many hard surfaces and sharp angles to catch the unwary crewmembers toe and cause him or her to cry out in pain and speak in tongues. Consequently, padded slippers are a vital addition to any proper crew member’s outfit. Bunny slippers, although not the most popular among the male types, have been known to rear their little fuzzy heads now and again while on alert.

Ultimately then, if the world is ever destroyed by a nuclear holocaust, it is a fair bet that somewhere there is a steely-eyed war fighter turning a launch key and dealing instant death… all while wearing cute little fuzzy pink bunny slippers. Hence, “death wears bunny slippers.”

Wry humor is one of the few defenses we have against the knowledge, however slim the chances may be, that we may one day have to be responsible for taking the lives of many people we don’t even know. Our primary mission is nuclear deterrence – don’t shoot at us and we won’t shoot back, but Heaven help us if deterrence fails.

22 December 2005


As the world becomes a little more introspective during the holiday season, I thought the following would make an appropriate post for this time of year. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Remember the past. If the greatest tales were left untold, the greatest adventures unrecorded, and the greatest journeys forgotten; we would unwittingly sacrifice who we could be for who we are, and ultimately perish in ignorance.

Remember wisdom. In comprehending the light and lives of those who have gone before us, we find ourselves and understand who and what we are meant to become.

Remember caution. Choose carefully whose footprints you choose to follow. For those who have gone before us uncovered the path to tread, only if we wish to go where they have gone.

Remember perspective. If he who feels inundated will but expand his world beyond himself, he will be too busy caring for others to notice the flood-waters seeping away.

Remember the Future. No thought, word, or deed we think, speak, or do is ever wasted. They are, for good or ill, the building blocks of our future inheritance.

19 December 2005

I dislike being sick on alert. There's no chicken soup or family to help comfort you better. At least I get to wear comfy clothing and blow my nose as often as I like. Although, I think I woke my crew partner a few times after clearing the nasal passages rather noisily.

Anyway, I felt pretty crummy after waking up this morning – all stuffed up and groggy, realizing that I had no prospect for a shower until I got home later that afternoon. My mood didn’t improve when I realized the chef forgot to send down butter for my pancakes I had ordered the previous night. Instead of nice day-old-tastes-like-the-fridge buttery pancakes, I had to drizzle this less than savory generic syrup all over them to get them moist enough to swallow, and ate day-old-tastes-like-the-fridge nasty syrup pancakes. Even that wasn’t so bad until an alarm went off and I accidentally dropped the last of my breakfast on the floor while trying to manage the situation. Oh, and by the way, there is no “ten second rule” in the capsule. If it touches the floor it is dead to the world. That includes items like M&Ms and small cellophane wrapped candies. Now sticky pancakes, well at that point you just have to rope off the area and call the biohazard response force to contain the situation.

It’s a good thing they don’t usually leave us missileers down in the hole for more than a day or so, else we might just lose all perspective on real life in the outside world.

15 December 2005

Sensory Perception Woes

I’ve often wished we could selectively turn off our senses and simply receive brain notifications that certain things are happening. For instance, upon smelling an especially foul odor, wouldn’t it be nice to say, “Okay that sure does stink, now nose, just send me a thought next time instead of the full-scent experience.” You know, something like, “Excuse me, Brain. This is Nose. Sorry to interrupt, but body has just entered an area smelling of decomposing trash and cat feces – just thought you ought to know.”

The same could work for pain. “Yes, I know Finger #3 (Frank) has a paper cut. Thank you for reminding me, Nerve. If it’s not healed in 24 hours, please send me another pain-free update.”

Even better would be if we could apply this principle to other people. Our brain could send a message to another brain requesting a temporary shutdown of a particular sense as it pertains to us. For example, if you were half asleep when you dressed in the morning and are now wearing a horribly mismatched outfit, your brain could simply tell a viewer’s eye to ignore the mismatch.

We could call it something catchy like Hypnotic Automatic Limiting Telepathy (HALT). This would be especially great for missileers like me. Due to nuclear hardness and other issues, the air flow in an LCC is somewhat poor, and fresh air is very limited. After spending 24 hours in an enclosed space which has been constantly occupied by at least two people for over 30 years running, you tend to smell not-so-fresh. All right, you just plain stink. We call it “capsule funk,” as in “man, I stink – I’ve got capsule funk all over me.” When someone new mentions the smell, crew members are often quick to comment, “What do you expect – there are 30 year-old farts floating around down here.”

With HALT, all you have to do is set your brain to auto-suppress the olfactory senses of anyone who gets too close, and as far as they know you might have just stepped out of the shower. Speaking of showers, this would be a great way to conserve water! You wouldn’t need to shower until you started to itch, but then of course you could suppress the itching sensation – you would never have to bathe again! … Okay, I just grossed myself out. Maybe I won’t patent HALT after all. I’m going to go wash my clothes now – they smell like capsule funk.

10 December 2005

2 a.m. thoughts

As things are often quiet on alert at 2 a.m., I find myself pondering the mysteries of the universe (that or slapping myself silly to stay awake). Perhaps it's the caffeinated semi-consciousness; or maybe the thought that I am in command of ten nuclear-tipped missiles and might just have to end the world before I go home, but whatever the case it is a time for thinking deep thoughts. You know, the kind that you jot down because they seem earth-shattering in their revelation and clarity--only to read them in the morning after a bout of sleep to find that you've written down something absurd like, "carrots are orange and that's why bunnies like them." Hey, it made perfect sense at the time, right.

Here is the point in my tale where you expect me to divulge whatever odd and humorous thought popped into my head last night. However, I plan to do no such thing. Foolish as I am to confess the idiocy of my sleep-deprived brain, I will not go so far as to mention something concrete which I will not be able to effectively recant at some later date. In fact, I can neither confirm nor deny that this is really me writing this…and neither can you. Hmmm…I feel the sleep deprivation clouding over me again. Good bye.

05 December 2005


This morning when I went to my mandatory workout at the gym it was -25°F with wind chill. That's cold enough to make your nose hairs freeze together and give you an insta-brain freeze. Well, if I thought that was bad I should have realized it would be worse coming out an hour later and glistening with about-to-be frozen sweat. Yep, brings a new meaning to the age old saying, "holy crap it's cold out here."


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