Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't Hate the Player...

As Election Day is a mere five days away there seems to be some pretty ridiculous attempts at derailing Barack Obama's bid for the White House. Of the more idiotic schemes comes from Philadelphia where a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Obama's qualifications for to be president. No, it's not one of the McCain/Palin camp's beating the dead horse of Obama's inexperience. Hell, if experience is a qualification no one would be eligible except the one guy who's had the office for the last eight years. Nobody wants that, do they? I don't think so.

The newest challenge to the possibility of an Obama/Biden White House was reported in the Washington Post on Sunday October 26, 2008. It seems that lawyer Philip J. Berg's lawsuit alleging that Obama is ineligible for the leader of the free world because he is not a citizen of the US. Berg asserts that Barack Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or became a citizen of Indonesia after having moved there as a child even though his mother is an American and he was born in Hawaii. Luckily, US District Judge R. Barclay Surrick rejected Berg's suit ruling that he lacked the standing to bring the case.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Album Cover of the Moment

I really like Bjork. She's like the Salvador Dali of pop music. I mean that, if you've ever heard Dali speak or if you've read anything he'd written, you would see that Bjork has the same sort of literal eccentricity in her lyrics and sometimes in her interviews.
This is the cover for her single for "All is Full of Love". It's an enhanced CD that has the video that was directed by Chris Cunningham and, as you will see here, it's all at once beautiful, erotic, creepy, and melancholy. One of my favorites music videos.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Future Wasn't My Fault

Thanks to my really good friend Jeni Morrell for this VIDEO. I tried to embed it here but it didn't work so you'll have to go to the CNNBC page to view it.

Okay, just so you know: I actually wrote-in my vote for Al Sharpton (again!) because he has cooler hair. Also, Barack Obama's name sounds like one of those guys that you see outside the subway station trying to sell you a bean pie. I don't want a president that's gonna go over to, say China, to negotiate trade agreements or something and then try to sell them bean pies...

On the StudioMONDO Hi-Fi:
Pink Floyd -
Dark Side of the Moon
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Royskopp - Melody A.M.
Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon
Zero 7 - Simple Things

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Friday, October 17, 2008

ABC News: Vote Match-O-Matic '08

Image courtesy of USAToday via JibJab.com

The ABC News website has created this nifty little game for people to determine which presidential nominee, Obama or McCain, really matches our concerns. Find out which candidate is your match for the next 4 years by playing Match-o-Matic II!
Now, my advice to you, if you're going to play this game, is to simply read each quote without trying to figure out which candidate may have said what. Just pick the quote that most reflects your point of view. You might be surprised.
Today on the StudioMONDO Wheels of Steel:
Lonette McKee -
Words and Music
Pavlov's Dog - Pampered Menial
Thievery Corporation -
The Mirror Conspiracy
Alice Coltrane -
Ptah the El Daoud

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Album of the Day: "Frankie Laine's Greatest Hits"

When Jeff and I were little kids we had one of those portable record players that was like a suitcase and it had three speeds: 33, 45 and 78rpm. We use to play these 12" colored-vinyl Disney records and my Mom's 7" 45's by people like Major Lance, Gene McDaniels, Fontella Bass and others. Also there was Brahms' "Hungarian Dance Nos. 5 and 6", Jerry Lewis "I've Got the World on a String" and my all-time favorite "Jezebel / Rose, Rose I Love You" by Frankie Laine.
My Mom still had those 45's until the late '70s when she moved from DC to Atlanta. Unfortunately, she threw them all away in the process of packing so I ended up searching yard sales and thrift stores for replacements to no avail. Every once in awhile I would think about these old records and would come across a battered Frankie Laine LP in a used record bin but it didn't have both the songs I wanted. Then, a few years ago, I was trolling eBay for Andy Williams records when I found a guy had put up 46 "easy listening" records for auction with a starting price of $0.99! The auction had 2 hours left and no other bidders. I won the lot which, to my surprise, contained Frankie Laine's "Greatest Hits" and it had the two songs I wanted most on one LP an, best of all, it was in mint condition!
Now, even as a child, I was something of a record nerd but it wasn't until I had this LP that I realised that Laine also sang the hit song from the movie "High Noon" (a top 50 movie fave) which also included here. I also learned that Country and Western music are actually two different genres and, as much as I love Country music, I love Western more. Too bad there's no more Western music being made anymore and Country, today, is just radio pop with an occasional "twang".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mad Money: Introducing Miss Lily Jones

My fictitious pre-fab home courtesy of Sears Roebuck Co.


Okay, so Done Gunderson, et al., never contacted me again. Too bad as I was thinking of trying to, eventually, see if I could get him to send me some cash (y'know, for gas and time off from work and such) so I could go to the bank to cash his phony check. Alas, no go.
However, this week I have received another email from some heir to African fortunes with an email account on Japanese Yahoo (
lily_jone2008@yahoo.co.jp). As with all 419 scams this letter was full of poor grammar, misspellings, religious references and soap-opera melodrama.
Here is the email from "Lily Jones":

Dear Belove one

Based on your profile, l am happy to request for your assistance because I beleive that you are not going to betrayed the trust which I am going to lay on you Dear Beloved i pray all is well with you and Other members of your family.
My name is Lily 20 years old and the only daughter of my late parents Mr.and Mrs Jones, My father was a highly reputable busnness magnet-(a cocoa merchant) who operated in the capital of Ivory coast during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad on 12th.November 2005.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time, but God knows the truth!
My mother died when I was just 6 years old, and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my Father on November 12th 2005 he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told her that he has the sum of (USD$17.5 000 000) Seventeen Milion five hundred thousand dollars left in a metalic trunk trunk box, wich he deposited in a Security Company here in abidjan, that he registered it as family valuable items for security reasons, he told the secretary that I should contact the Company for them to know me as his next of kin wich I have did as he instructed, He also told the secretary that I should not let any of his relations to know about this because he was kiled by them and if they know about it, that they will do nothing but to kill me in other to take hold of every thing, He told her that I should seek for a foriegn partner abroad who will help me retreived the trunk box and also travel with him or her in other to continue my Live and Education and also to start a Bussines relationship with the person whom can take care of me in the future,
My dear, this is why I have come incontact with you in order to help me retreive that trunk box from the Security Companys custody and send it direct to your country and also to make an arrangement for me on how I will come over to your country in other to continue my Live and Education and also to go into bussines relationship with you hence I am still a child and I dont know any thing about bussines, I am just 20 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. this is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life, My dear, I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards and your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can I completely trust you?

2.Can you accept me as your own blood Sister (Or Doughter)?
3.What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you?
Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible with your full assurance that you will not disapoint me in this issue so that i can give you the contact of the Security Company where my late Father deposited that trunk box for you to contactthem on how the trunk box will be retreived from their custody and deliver to your country,
Thank you soo much for your understanding and may almighty God bless you and your Family to the Glory of God Almighty,

My sincere regards,
Miss Lily..

So I wrote her back because my chivalrous nature compels me to find a way to assist this poor damsel-in-distress...

Dear Miss Jones,

While I am happy to provide you some assistance in retreiving your family's assets I hope you understand that I am slightly suspicious of your true intentions. As you know there are many unscrupulous people in the world who prey on the gullibility of the uninformed with letters, similar to yours, sent at random to strangers in the hope of separating them from their hard-earned money. While I don't believe you to be one of these "scam artists" I would like to have some assurance as to your honesty.
You have mentioned in your correspondence your desire to come to my country to live and continue your education. You also mentioned that you wish me to accept you as if you were a member of my family in order to facilitate the receipt of your family's trunk of money. I would like, if you don't mind, a small act of good faith from you. Firstly, I would like to know if you are to be a guest in my home (4 bedrooms on 1 acre of land), second, I would like to request that you send a photograph of yourself possibly holding a sign with the words "StudioMONDO" (which is the name of my fairly lucrative artists' management business) written on it just to prove that you are not party to an illegal scam.
I believe that once we have established a certain level of trust we may then move forward with my assisting you in you dilemma. As for my restitution, I believe that the Lord will provide all benefits to my heart. However, I understand your desire to provide a gratuity for my assistance so I think a fair amount should be minimal, perhaps approximately $10,000USD would suffice (some of which will be used to facilitate your anticipated travel to my country and the balance going to my parish at the
A.M.E. Church of What's Happening Now). (WARNING: The link I imbedded here is to an adult website called "Jesus Loves Porn")

Thank you for your consideration.
Guy Mondo

Let the games begin!

Today on the StudioMONDO Wheels-of-Steel:
Johnny Mathis - Warm
Matt Bianco - Who's Side Are You On
Martha & The Muffins - This is the Ice Age
Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Geschenk des Augenblicks
Madhouse - Madhouse

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mad Money

I, basically, work lots of part-time jobs doing a few different things though most of the time my work is in security or catering. I am always looking for new opportunities to fill up my calendar so, occasionally, I go to Craigslist. Back in August I answered an ad for a driver, 3 to 4 days a week, claiming good pay. I replied and sent along a copy of my resume.

I was immediately suspicious when the lister, Done Gunderson, Esq., replied to my email with a different name, Douglas Raymond, in an letter from Gunderson's G-mail account. I smelled what is commonly known as a "419 Advance Fee Fraud" scam or "The Nigerian Letter Scam" and decided to see just how far I could run with it. Here is the reply I got:

Hello There,
Thanks for your swift response and i am glad to read from you as regard to the driving job. I am Douglas Raymond by name and I live here in illinois, presently in United kingdom, I have informed my wife {Sandra by Name} concerning the pick up and for other purpose which she might need you for. I believe you are fit for this position in as much you will prove yourself as a reliable and honest person. Her arrival date is September 5th. I will prefer you have your car ready & available, but if you don't have a car, i will make provision for you. I am offering you $500Dollars weekly and you will make yourself available 3 times a week to her schedule for 2 hours each day, also I want you to know that my client will be sending you either Money Order STONE..............: Money Order or Cashier Check and the payment will be in excess of $3850USD. You're to deduct your salary & the remaining funds will
be use by my wife for her travel expenses, accommodations and some other expenses, get back to me with the following details as fast as you can.
Full Name:
Home Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone Number:
Country:
Get back to me as fast as you can, so that the money Order or Cashier Check an be issue on your name and sent to your address overnight.

Thanks for your utmost co-operation & i 'll be looking forward to hearing back from you as soon as possible.

Best
Regards,
Done Gunderson, Esq.
So I replied with this:

Thank you for your consideration. I see that you live in Illonois but your advert was in the Washington, DC Craigslist. Will your wife be staying in the DC area? If so you will find no one with a better knowledge of the city as I was born and raised here. My information is as follows:
Guy Waynes
1329 Ft. Stevens Dr. NW
Washington, DC 20011
US
202.829.****
I look forward to being of service to you.
Two days later I get another email that ignored my questions about Sandra {by Name}'s location in relation to the job but I will be getting a check anyway, presumably when Gunderson is "Done" forging, er...manipulating, one.

Hello There,

Thanks for your effort and co-operations all this while, well i am using the opportunity to inform you that, due to the reason that all shipping company here in United Kingdom, do not work during weekends; therefore, you should be expecting the cashier check payment latest on wednesday, 3rd of Sept. 2008, so when you receive it, you are to follow the necessary information i gave you on our to manipulate the check.

Thanks! Regards,
Done Gunderson, Esq.
I didn't get a check by the 3rd and didn't hear from Gunderson/Raymond until September 9:

Hello There,
Thanks for your utmost patience and co-operations all this while; i have to tell you this good news, the Cashier Check of US$3000has been ready to be send by my financial manager to you this very week; i will be happy if you get it cashed as soon as you receive the Check, you are to deduct your upfront bill of US$500 and get there remainning money send to my wife in United Kingdom for her expenses; there was a slight delay with my wife's arrival to the State, that's the reason why you never got any message from me since, my sincere apology to whatever this delay might have caused you. Thank you once again and God Bless!.

Best Regards,
DoneGunderson, Esq.

Here's where I see the genius of ths plan. I get a check for $3000 which I should cash and deduct $500 for myself and send the balance to this guy and he makes an easy $2500. It's a win/win situation, right?

That week I did get an envelope from the UK with no return address. Inside, sure enough, was a cashiers' check for $3500 from an account at a Houston, TX bank noting the purchaser as Jean Trafford and the instructions were that I send the $3000 to a Kelvin Smith in the UK (this guy has more personalities than Sybil!). I found the bank online and saw they have branches in Maryland but too far for me to want to drive there for this silliness.

Here's the second part of this genius plan: I figure if I cash the check I could be arrested for bank fraud over a measly $500 while it would take an international effort to track down Gunderson/Raymond/Trafford/Smith even with what is likely a false address. Needless to say, I haven't heard from him since as I figure he's figured out that I'm no sucker and moved on to someone else.

Now that I have all this (mis)information I found that I can send a copy of the check and instructions to the US Secret Service for investigation but i wonder if they'll keep me posted on their investigation.

Now playing at StudioMONDO:
Funky Green Dogs -
Super California
Andy Caldwell - Late Night with Andy Caldwell
Rendezvous Lounge -
Volumes 1 and 2
Blaze - Found Love

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