Saturday, August 07, 2004

Back by "Poop" u-lar Demand!


Play With The Poop Machine. Click Here.

Click above to "Play with the POOP Machine!"

*Wizard's Note: Depending on your choice of food, you may have to 'refresh' the poop machine page to continue eating.

Funk Legend Rick James Dead at 56


Rick James.. Dead at 56 (antiMUSIC) Legendary Funk artist Rick James died in his sleep on Friday, he was 56. James was best known for his 1981 hit “Super Freak” and later for making headlines with drug related violence that landed him in prison.

James was discovered in his home near Universal City, California by his personal assistant early on Friday. According to Police, James personal physician signed his death certificate which states that he died from "existing medical conditions".

The publicist for James’ three children says that they believe he died of heart failure.

The Accountant


Fresh out of business school, the young man answered a want ad for an accountant. Now he was being interviewed by a very nervous man who ran a small business that he had started himself.

"I need someone with an accounting degree," the man said. "But mainly, I'm looking for someone to do my worrying for me."

"Excuse me?" the accountant said.

"I worry about a lot of things," the man said. "But I don't want to have to worry about money. Your job will be to take all the money worries off my back."

"I see," the accountant said. "And how much does the job pay?"

"I'll start you at eighty thousand."

"Eighty thousand dollars!" the accountant exclaimed. "How can such a small business afford a sum like that?"

"That," the owner said, "is your first worry."


Talking Clock


Proudly showing off his new apartment to a couple of his friends late one night the drunk led the way to his bedroom where there was a big brass gong.

"What's that big brass gong for?" one of the guests asked. "It's not a gong. It's a talking clock" the drunk replied.

"A talking clock? Seriously?" asked his astonished friend.

"Yep" replied the drunk. "How's it work?" the second guest asked, squinting at it.

"Watch" the man said. He picked up a hammer, gave it an ear shattering pound and stepped back. The three stood looking at one another for a moment.

Suddenly, someone on the other side of the wall screamed "For God sake, you asshole....it's ten past three in the morning!"

*Thanks, Auntie 'M'!

From the mouth of 'Homer'


"Could Jesus heat a buritto in a microwave and make it so hot that He Himself could not eat it?"

--Homer Simpson

Svend Pleads Guilty To Theft


by Canadian Press

Svend Robinson (Vancouver, British Columbia) Former New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Svend Robinson pleaded guilty Friday to stealing an expensive ring.

When asked by the judge if he wished to plead guilty, a nervous-looking Robinson replied: "Yes I do, your honor."

The plea had been expected after Robinson told a nationally televised news conference in April that he had "pocketed" an expensive piece of jewelry in a moment of "utter irrationality."

Robinson was spared jail time and a criminal record today but must perform 100 hours of community service for shoplifting an expensive ring.

"On balance, the credits outweigh the debits for Mr. Robinson," Judge Ronald Fratkin, of B.C. provincial court said in handing Robinson a conditional discharge.

"I'm satisfied that what he has gone through is enough. He's fallen a long way and embarrassed himself," Fratkin said.

"This has been a shattering experience for me," Robinson told court.

"I feel remorse and shame for a totally unthinkable act."

After the proceedings, his high-profile Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby, addressed reporters. Robinson, who stood behind Ruby, did not speak. He was joined by his partner Max Riveron.

"This cry for help does require the imposition of a criminal conviction," Ruby said.

In April, the media gathered for Robinson's surprise admission, ``something just snapped."

He blamed severe stress and emotional pain and took immediate medical leave from his work as MP.

While Robinson, wouldn't elaborate on his condition, he blamed some of the stress on a 1997 hiking accident where he was severely injured.

Just weeks before a federal election was to be called, Robinson also resigned his position as the New Democrat candidate for Burnaby-Douglas.

A week before the election, special prosecutor Len Doust decided Robinson, Canada's first openly gay MP, should face a charge of theft over $5,000.

The owner of the ring, Federal Auction Service of Brampton said the ring was worth $64,500 and was pleased to see it returned.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but that's reserved for the worst repeat offenders, lawyers have said.

The most likely options for Robinson, a first-time offender, are an absolute discharge, a conditional discharge or a suspended sentence.

The absolute discharge means no criminal record, a conditional discharge means no criminal record if a series of conditions are met and a suspended sentence means a criminal record but no jail time as long as certain conditions are met.

Political watchers have said a conviction wouldn't bar Robinson from again running for a seat in the House of Commons, although he would have to go through an intense disclosure process with the party before the NDP would permit him to run.

With a criminal record, Robinson will likely be barred from entering the United States. But for a fee of $300, Robinson could apply for a waiver to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The process includes fingerprinting by the FBI, takes eight to nine months and requires the applicant to reapply every year.

Robinson, 52, could have more difficulty returning to his previous profession as a lawyer.

The Law Society of B.C. requires that in order to be called to the bar or reinstated, a candidate must be of good character and repute and fit to practice law.

A spokesman for the society has said Robinson would likely have to try to explain himself to the law society's credentials committee and prove he has overcome his problems.

Robinson is working for the month of August with the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union.

The union said Robinson will work in its advocacy department, analyzing contracts and presenting cases to arbitrators to help resolve a backlog of grievances by union members.

He is expected to start work next week.

Robinson will be eligible at age 55 for his parliamentary pension, which for him amounts to $86,663 per year.

"The Joy of Produce" - Safeway


Safeway Food and Drug Now the Wizard is the first one to be all for freedom of speech. But recent commercial airings of Canada Safeway's "The Joy of Produce" has got me a little steamed. The commercial is a supposed spoof on The Joy Of Sex... showing corn cobs that look like erections, and inferring that vegetables are exhibitionists, seductively peeling banana's, and other fruit, especially when ripe.

My issue is that I don't want the kids, my 7 year old for example, to see this kind of comparison on TV. Perhaps, they could re-release it showing the oranges putting a condom on the ear of corn! And maybe show a banana and an ear of corn together! Hmm...Could be something they are on to. I know that The Wizard posts some questionable materials on 'OZ' at times (See post below this one...), but its not on TV! It's on the web, and people choose to come to 'OZ'. They don't choose to watch the commercials.

SMUTWAY Stores Inc.
SMUTWAY Stores Inc.


I wrote to Safeway, and while they have so far responded with a promise to take this to the higher ups, I have not yet heard back from them. Following, is a transcript of the dialogue so far:

First from me: "The "Joy of Produce" is bordering on being offensive. While I can find the humor in it. I do not want my 7 year old son to see banana's and corn doing strip teases. C'Mon Safeway! You can do better than that! You are much more sophisticated than to do that type of ad.

Thanks for listening!"

Now their response: "Thank you for your recent correspondence.

We appreciate the time you have taken to share your valuable feedback. Your comments will be forwarded to our Public Affairs Department for further review.

If you would like to discuss this further, please reply to this email or call our toll free number at 1-800-723-3929 and reference contact I.D. 6339435. One of our associates will be happy to assist you.

We appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you for shopping at Safeway.


Sincerely,

Lari Pekurar
Customer Service Representative"

Stay tuned. I will let you know what happens. Or do you think I am making too much out of this? If so, send me your comments, by clicking below this post.

Friday, August 06, 2004

So That's Why!


So That's Why The Sea Tastes Salty! =)


A blue whale produces over 400 gallons of semen when it ejaculates;

BUT:

* Only 10% of the semen actually makes it into his mate.
* So, 360 gallons are spilled into the ocean everytime he unloads.

You wonder why the ocean tastes so salty....

Now you know!

Don't drink the water!

*Thanks, Auntie 'M' =)

Ask The Wizard
(Windows XP Service Pack 2)


the Wunnerfull Wizard of 'OZ' Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

I have been hearing alot about some kind of software update called a service pack RC2. What is it and should I install it? I heard that it has a firewall in it. Is that also true? I always install every update that Microsoft has.

Signed,

Wanting to stay updated.

Dear Hooked on Updates,

First of all...


DO NOT INSTALL EVERY UPDATE THAT IS AVAILABLE!

Install all "CRITICAL UPDATES". You must read about the other updates that you are installing. Only the ones that are applicable to your edition and your rendition of Windows need or should be installed. Installing every update can be just as bad for your computing experience as installing every piece of shareware or freeware that you come across. (I am not speaking about the 'Automatic Updates' but rather the non-critical updates you get when you go to Windows Update. Service Packs are a different animal altogether. You need to install them.

Now, on to Service packs. A service pack is much more than just security updates. They represent a major change and can and will affect how Windows operates. Microsoft usually adds new features, or changes existing features... some good... some not so good. And by the way, only legal copies of Windows XP can download the update, so if you are using a pirated version, don't expect to be able to apply the service packs. You do have a legal copy.. don't you?

By now, you should have already installed Service Pack 1. Service Pack 2 will be available later this month. Do not install the beta version of it, called Release Candidate 2 (RC2)! It is a beta that should only be tested by experienced computer users. Service Pack 2 for Windows XP will combine all the applicable interim updates that you have so far downloaded and installed and remove them from your 'installed program' list in your Control Panel in addition to providing the following...

1. Network protection. These security technologies help to provide better protection against network-based attacks, (remember, a high or lite speed connection to the internet constitutes being hooked to a network!), like MSBlaster, through a number of innovations, including enhancements to Windows Firewall and a reduced RPC attack surface. These enhancements include turning on Windows Firewall in default installations of Service Pack 2, closing ports except when they are in use, improving the user interface for configuration, improving application compatibility when Windows Firewall is on.

2. Memory protection. Some attacks by malicious software leverage software security vulnerabilities that allow too much data to be copied into areas of the computer’s memory. These vulnerabilities are typically referred to as buffer overruns.

3. Safer e-mail handling. Security technologies help to stop viruses (such as SoBig.F) that spread through e-mail and instant messaging.

4. Enhanced browsing security. Security technologies that are delivered in Microsoft Internet Explorer provide improved protection against malicious content on the Web. One enhancement includes locking down the Local Machine zone to prevent against the running of malicious scripts and fortifying against harmful Web downloads. Additionally, better user controls and user interfaces are provided that help prevent malicious ActiveX®† controls and spyware from running on your system without your knowledge and consent. (Note: 'OZ' has javascript that uses your ActiveX® controls to play the music that you hear. Most users of ActiveX® use them non-maliciously. In fact if you have your computer settings not to allow ActiveX®, then you may not even be able to view the page. This is not true in all cases. 'OZ', for example will still view fine, but you will miss the music.)

5. Improved computer maintenance. A very important part of any security plan is keeping computers updated with the latest software and security updates and understanding the role they play in protecting your computer. You must also ensure that you have current knowledge of security attacks and trends. For example, some software updates that mitigated known viruses and worms were available days or weeks before any significant attacks began. New technologies are being added to help the end user stay up-to-date. These technologies include Security Center, which provides a central location for information about the security of your computer, and Windows Installer, which provides more security options for software installation.


Explanation of the Windows Firewall:

What does Windows Firewall do?
Windows Firewall (previously called Internet Connection Firewall or ICF) is a software-based, stateful filtering firewall for Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003. Windows Firewall provides protection for PCs that are connected to a network by preventing unsolicited inbound connections through TCP/IP version 4 (IPv4) and TCP/IP version 6 (IPv6). Configuration options include:

• Enabling on a per-interface basis

• Using static port openings

• Configuring basic ICMP options

• Logging dropped packets and successful connections

For more information about Windows Firewall for IPv4, see “Internet Connection Firewall Feature Overview” on the Microsoft Web site here.

Support for filtering of IPv6 traffic was added with the release of IPv6 Windows Firewall in the Advanced Networking Pack for Windows XP. The Advanced Networking Pack is available through Windows Update on the Microsoft Web site here.

At the present time, Microsft has stated that the Windows Firewall will be enabled by default, allowing NO traffic from the WWW to your computer, so you will have to allow/disallow each and every program that attempts to be accessed by servers on the NET.

One that people seem to freak out (if they have Zone Alarm, or Black ICE, or Norton Personal Firewall, etc), is an ICMP from some IP Address. This is called a 'PING'‡. PING, is not usually an indication of an attack, (though it can be...), what it usually is, is the server where you surfed a page last, and say.. surfed to another. Then the server that hosted the last page you were on may send a PING to your computer to see if you are actually still needing the webpage. If it doesn't get an answer, it will close the connection between your computer and the webserver.

My advice to you is when the alerts pop up from Windows Firewall, read what is happening and then make your choice accordingly.

Hope this helps.

Yrs,

The Wizard.


ActiveX® is an umbrella term for Microsoft technologies that enable developers to create interactive content for the World Wide Web. A set of language-independent interoperability technologies that enable software components written in different languages to work together in networked environments. The core technology elements of ActiveX are the Component Object Model (COM) and distributed COM. It makes a web pages interactive and more functional. Essentially a slimmed down version of OLE, ActiveX provides developers a way to download small executable objects that can be invoked directly on the users machine. ActiveX also allow rapid development of applications based on "reusable parts". OCXs are fully executable pieces of Windows code that have no restrictions placed on them once they reach the client machine, regardless of how they got there. ActiveX controls can also have code parts that work like a Trojan Horse. So it could be dangerous to if you don´t know it´s origin and certification.

‡ PING is Packet Internet Groper; a utility used to determine whether a particular computer is currently connected to the Internet. It works by sending a packet to the specified IP address and waiting for a reply. It is a TCP/IP application used to determine whether other machines are online and available. Pinging is performed by sending an ICMP echo request and waiting for a reply.

Cliff Notes


Cliff Clavin "It's a little known fact that basketball was invented thousands of years ago by the Mayans. They played it for centuries."

The Ant and The Grasshopper (Canadian Version Included)


CLASSIC VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Are you an ant? or a grasshopper?


THE CANADIAN MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs, dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate like him are cold and starving.

CBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video of the ant in his comfortable warm home with a table filled with food.

Canadians are stunned that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.

The NDP, the CAW and the Coalition Against Poverty demonstrate in front of the ant's house. The CBC, interrupting an Inuit cultural festival special from Nunavut with breaking news, broadcasts them singing "We Shall Overcome."

Svend Robinson rants in an interview with Pamela Wallin that The ant has gotten rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share." In response to polls, the Liberal Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti- Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant's taxes are reassessed and he is also fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as helpers.

Without enough money to pay both the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

The ant moves to the US, starts a successful agribiz company.

The CBC later shows the now fat grasshopper finishing up the last of the ant's food though Spring is still months away, while the Government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he hadn't maintained it.

Inadequate government funding is blamed, Roy Romanow is appointed to head a commission of enquiry that will cost $10 million.

The grasshopper is soon dead of a drug overdose, the Toronto Star blames it on obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity.

The abandoned house is taken over by a gang of immigrant spiders, praised by the government for enriching Canada's multicultural diversity, who promptly terrorize the community.

The Redhead


A young redhead goes into the doctor's office and says that her body hurts wherever she touches it.

"Impossible," says the doctor. "Show me."

She takes her finger and pushes her elbow and screams in agony. She pushes her knee and screams, pushes her ankle and screams. Everywhere she touches makes her scream.

The doctor says, "You're not really a redhead, are you?"

"No," she says, "I'm actually a blonde."

"I thought so," the doctor says. "Your finger is broken."

*Thanks, Daryn =)

The Camel


A nun and a priest were crossing the Sahara desert on a camel. On the third day out the camel suddenly dropped dead without warning.

After dusting themselves off, the nun and the priest surveyed their situation. After a long period of silence, the priest spoke.

"Well, sister, this looks pretty grim."
"I know, father." "In fact, I don't think it likely that we can survive more than a day or two."

"I agree", says the Father, "Sister, since we are unlikely to make it out of here alive, would you do something for me?" "Anything, Father."

"I have never seen a woman's breasts and I was wondering if I might see yours."
"Well, under the circumstances I don't see that it would do any harm."

The nun opened her habit and the priest enjoyed the sight of her shapely breasts, commenting frequently on their beauty.

"Sister, would you mind if I touched them? She consented and he fondled them for several minutes.

"Father, could I ask something of you?"
"Yes, Sister?" "I have never seen a man's penis. Could I see yours?"
"I suppose that would be OK," the priest replied lifting his robe.

"Oh Father, May I touch it?" This time the priest consented and after a few minutes of fondling he was sporting a huge erection.

"Sister, you know that if I insert my penis in the right place, it can give life." "Is that true father?"

"Yes, it is, Sister."

"Oh Father that's wonderful, stick it in the camel and let's get the hell out of here."



*Thanks, Daryn!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Home Depot gals take it off for Playboy


Playboy.com's 'Women of Home Depot' pictorial features six employees minus their orange aprons

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Playboy.com launched the "Women of Home Depot" pictorial Tuesday, showcasing six of the retailer's "sexiest" female employees.

Playboy.com said in May it was searching for the sexiest women at Home Depot (HD: down $0.02 to $34.67, Research, Estimates), the world's largest home improvement retailer, to "shuck their orange smocks" and pose nude for the online pictorial.

"Playboy is an American icon and I am so excited to have been chosen as one of the models for this feature," said Rachel Parks, one of the feature's models. "This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Rachel Parks Home Depot Playboy Bunny
Home Depot supervisor Rachel Parks, one of the models featured in the pictorial,
called it a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience.


The adult men's publication ran similar 'Women of Enron' and 'Women of Starbucks' photo spreads in Playboy magazine in 2002 and 2003.

Last November, Playboy.com ran its first version of the 'Women of....' pictorial featuring women from Wal-Mart.

For its part, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, criticized the spread, saying it was "in poor taste" and went against its image as a family store.

Nevertheless, the Wal-Mart spread turned into the Playboy.com's biggest success to date, according to John Thomas, editor of the Web site.

"It was a real watershed moment for Playboy.com in terms of the number of people who actually paid money to get access to the pay-per-view part of the feature," he said.

Thomas said the Home Depot casting call elicited about 400 responses from employees. "That's much more than we had anticipated. We think the Home Depot feature could be even more successful than the Wal-Mart one."

The pictorial, which is exclusively on Playboy.com, features six models including a sales associate, a supervisor and a cashier. Playboy.com paid the models for the feature but would not disclose the amount.

Who's Thomas looking at next?

"Maybe 'Women of CNN' will be next," he joked.

"I'm sure there are a lot of nervous brands out there," he added. "We have between six to eight names that we're considering. One idea is a 'Women of fast-food' spread.

"The whole idea of this feature is to surprise people with the unexpected. People thought the Wal-Mart idea was a joke but the real beauty of it was the enormous buzz it created. We knew it would be a success when Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien joked about it."

Home Depot could not immediately be reached for comment. But the company had said it didn't endorse or support the pictorial when Playboy first announced it was doing the feature.

Forbidden Fruit - Andy Stephenson


George Bush beside Andy, a gay dancer/singer/songwriter.
I am unsure of who the woman on the left and the man on the far right is.
Andy Stephenson and G.W.Bush
Andy Stephenson middle, right. G.W. Bush middle, left.

His New CD - 'Forbidden Fruit'


Andy Stephenson has a new CD out. On his site, you can watch this superb dancer, singer and writer. His music and shows include song and dance from the old musical movie days, combined with a newness that makes him unique in our time.

Click on the "Fruit" to visit his website.

The Dialectizer

Dis website is way coow! You can entew the website of youw choice and them choose to have it wemade in a few diffewent diawects. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! Dis one is Ewmew Fudd. You can awso choose Jive, cockney and many mowe.

Click here for an example of a webpage I dialectized!

Click here to Dialectize yourself!

--NOTE: Just because you can does not mean you should use the dialectizer on official webpages, like say Government of Canada....hehe

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

UPDATE: Banks hit with computer glitches


CIBC TD

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and TD Bank Financial Group were both hit with unidentified computer glitches, according to news reports Thursday morning, causing disruption to some customer accounts and online banking.

About 60,000 personal lines of credit accounts at the CIBC were affected by a system error on Thursday, that caused a double-dipping effect to take place on customer accounts and also caused some problems with online banking systems.

All computer systems responsible for processing customer transactions are now operating normally, according to a statement released by CIBC late Thursday morning, and the bank is now working to reverse a number of erroneous transactions that occurred for some customers with personal lines of credit.

Bank withdrawals, deposits, money transfers and debit payments were being doubled in some of the line of credit accounts at the CIBC. So, for example, if a customer took out $20 from his or her account, it would appear twice on the transaction record, totaling $40.

CIBC has more than nine million retail banking customers in Canada. Less than one per cent were affected by this error, CIBC said.

The bank said it intends to reverse the incorrect transactions as quickly as possible and in the meantime it would ensure that affected customers do not experience any difficulties due to insufficient funds or other charges that might occur as a result of the error. Any such charges would be reversed.

Fraud That Can Be Fatal


car When purchasing a used vehicle the average buyer may never know whether the airbag is there or functioning correctly until it’s too late. Airbag fraud is on the rise and may soon rank as the worst vehicle repair scam out there and a potentially fatal one.

Last year 2.5 million vehicles were totaled by insurance companies and issued salvage titles. More than 1 million of those -- nearly half -- were rebuilt and put back on the road.

According to the California Highway Alliance, bad or non-functioning airbag replacement systems are installed at an alarming rate. Recently they found 1 out of every 25 previously damaged vehicles inspected had phony airbags. The problem may be worse in other parts of the country. With more than a million totaled vehicles being repaired and resold annually, the opportunity for fraud is frightening. Even with a minor accident, if the airbag deployed, fraud is a risk.

Here's the scam: Airbag systems are expensive to replace, so dishonest mechanics keep costs down and profits up by using incorrect, outdated or no system at all to replace the deployed bags. Since it's virtually impossible for consumers to tell just by looking that dummy airbags were used, they purchase improperly repaired vehicles.

A California consumer thought he had purchased the ideal car for his 16-year-old daughter. When he took it into a local dealership for a tune-up he got the shock of his life. He learned that the compartment that normally contains the airbag system was filled with old rags. In an accident they would have been worthless.

Victims of airbag fraud have found everything stuffed into steering wheel and dashboard airbag compartments from packing peanuts to paper towels, old shoes to aluminum cans.

In addition to getting a car checked by a qualified mechanic, Carfax.com recommends consumers perform the following self-checks to determine if an airbag is in good working order:

When turning on the ignition:

* The airbag indicator light should appear momentarily and then go out.

* If indicator light remains on or flashes, this may indicate an airbag system problem exists -- take vehicle to qualified mechanic for further inspection.

* What if the light NEVER comes on? This indicates a serious problem. It’s highly likely the air bag is missing and the bulb has been removed.

To protect themselves, consumers should ask for a Carfax Vehicle History Report and get as much information about the car’s past as possible. Reports are available free of charge at more than 25,000 Carfax Certified Dealers around the country. Consumers can also log on to www.Carfax.com to order reports directly from the company. Using this information and taking the vehicle to a certified airbag mechanic for inspection prior to purchase will ensure a properly working airbag system and can help provide peace of mind.

IDIOT list 2003 out!


The IDIOT List Of 2003
Click above to read all about 'em!

Man Riding Unicycle Across Country -- Forrest Gump Unimpressed


One man, one wheel across Nebraska and country

RURALSARPYCOUNTY - You're riding a unicycle.You're balancing yourself tenuously on one wheel. It has no shock absorber, so you feel every pebble on the concrete, every crack in the pavement.

Your backpack, with at least 15 pounds of provisions, interferes with your balance. And because you are on a unicycle, you don't move unless the pedals turn. You can't coast, as you can on a bicycle.

"It keeps you honest," said Patrick Thomas of San Francisco. "As soon as you stop pedaling, it stops going."

Thomas, 39, is riding a unicycle from San Francisco to New York to get attention, and hopefully donations, for America's Second Harvest and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

He entered southwest Nebraska early last week near Venango. He took a bus part of the way across the state in order to make a scheduled interview with a newspaper and to meet a friend who was to accompany him part of the way.

From Grand Island, he pedaled his unicycle on U.S. 34 to Lincoln and took U.S. 6 toward Omaha.

Thomas, a teacher at John Muir Elementary School in San Francisco, wants to raise money for the Sloan-Kettering Center because his mother survived breast cancer. He wants to help America's Second Harvest because of the many homeless and hungry who live near his own home.

He decided to ride a unicycle across the country because it would get more attention than a bicycle, he said.

Although monetary donations are important, he'll be satisfied if his ride causes people to spend time with cancer patients or work in a homeless shelter.

"Just as important is what people do with their time," he said. pausing for an interview near the Platte River bridge. "That's just as valuable, plus more, than writing a check."

Pedaling a unicycle through themountain ranges of Colorado and across the deserts of Nevada was grueling. He believes he would have quit if people on the way had not been kind enough to stop, ask how he was doing, offer a ride and wish him well.

"When you get that kind of injection, that shot in the arm,"he said, "you feel you can go on."

Sometimes he accepted those offers for rides. In the middle of a thunderstorm, one would be dumb not to. Ultimately, he plans to pedal 3,100 miles of the 3,600-mile trip.

"I'm only human, I'm not a machine,"he said. "People support you for the spirit of what you're doing, not that you're covering every last inch."

He also got moral support from friend Julie Kerekes, 39, of Venice, Calif. She rode - a small bicycle - with Thomas on the two-day stretch from Grand Island to Lincoln. She said his idealism is what is pushing him across the country.

"I've never met someone as idealistic as Patrick," she said after returning to California Saturday. "He really expects people to be good and to have goodwill."

Thomas has already worn out one unicycle on the trip. He purchased a new one in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

The interview over, Thomas took a swig from a water bottle, swung his backpack onto his shoulders, delicately balanced himself on his unicycle and pushed himself east towards the looming bluffs of the Platte River Valley.

Ten miles to burn a Big Mac


10 Miles to burn the Biggus-Macuus calories!
Exercise drive ... McDonalds


FAST food fans must walk almost TEN miles to work off the calories in a Big Mac Meal. This was revealed yesterday as the hamburger giant launched its own EXERCISE drive.

It started selling £3.99 adult Happy Meals boxes — each containing a step-counter, salad, soft drink, and exercise leaflet — to encourage people to walk their food off.

But nutritionists calculated the Big Mac Meal, which includes fries and milkshake, packs 1,411 calories — requiring 9½ miles to burn.

Even a new 295cal Go Active salad requires a 2.5-mile walk. The average man needs 2,500 calories a day. Women need 2,000.

McDonald’s bosses — stung by criticism they were fuelling Britain’s fat epidemic in their restaurants — trumpeted the launch of the salad range last March.

Last night Sun health expert Nicki Waterman said: “It’s good to see McDonald’s trying to get the nation fitter but their food has too many calories. It’s OK saying replace fries with salad but their dressings have more calories than the burgers.”

A McDonald’s spokesman countered: “There’s plenty of choice and variety to meet the requirements of a balanced diet. If you want to be selective, you can pick out just the high-calorie meals.”

Piranha bites boy at Hong Kong fountain


Piranha bites boy in fountan HONG KONG (Reuters) - A 14-year old boy has had three stitches in his finger after being bitten by a piranha while playing in a public fountain in Hong Kong.

The piranha -- which has its origins in warm South American rivers and can devour whole cows when hunting in packs -- is a popular fish in Hong Kong home aquariums and can be bought in Mongkok pet shops for less than HK$100 a pair (7 pounds).

The bleeding teenager was taken to a local hospital on Monday night and was said to be in a stable condition, Hong Kong newspapers reported.

Estate management staff drained the fountain on Tuesday morning and found three freshwater fish, which died. Two were identified as a rare breed of piranha.

Additional signs have been added to the fountain advising the public not to release fish into the water.

"Pet owners should be considerate and should not abandon pets without due care," The Standard newspaper quoted a spokesman for Hong Kong's Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department as saying.

Piranhas are not an endangered species and possession is not restricted in Hong Kong, although they are banned in mainland China.

Chariot race death probed


PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man.—The RCMP is investigating why a man died during a Roman-style chariot race.

Thomas Scarrow, 70, of Arcola, Sask., died Thursday night during a Ben Hur contest, about 50 kilometres west of here.

RCMP spokesman Dan Toppings said police are trying to determine whether it was an accident or natural causes such as a heart attack that killed Scarrow. He added that a witness told police Scarrow appeared to lean back and fall off his chariot.

The office of the medical examiner will determine whether an autopsy is needed.

Helmet Neufeld, chair of the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near where the race was held, said there had been no collision.

Birds Do It... Bees Do It..


Priest, Nun Convicted After 'Sex Act' in Car

BLANTYRE, Malawi (Reuters) - A Malawian court convicted a Catholic priest and a nun of disorderly conduct Thursday after they were caught engaged in a sexual act in a parked car with tinted windows.

The Malawian priest, 43, and the 26-year-old nun from neighboring Zambia spent the night in police cells after being caught in the act Wednesday, police said.

A court in the capital Lilongwe handed down suspended jail sentences of six months with hard labor after the pair pleaded guilty to charges of idleness and disorderly conduct.

"These people were caught in a sex act," Assistant Superintendent Kelvin Maigwa told Reuters.

Officials in the Roman Catholic Church, whose priests are barred from sex or marriage, declined to comment.

Passers by alerted police at Lilongwe International Airport after the parked Toyota Corolla, which had tinted windows, began shaking in what police described as "a funny manner."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Oh My God! They've Syndicated "South Park" !


Faster than you can say alien anal probe, South Park's cracking the mainstream.

South Park On mainstream TV!
The dirty lttle boys of South Park



Those scatological paper cutouts--Cartman, Stan, Kyle and the gang--could be heading to a station near you as Comedy Central's irreverent 'toon has been cleared by distributor Tribune Entertainment for syndication in 85 percent of the country.

However, when the reruns launch in fall 2005, longtime fans of the South Park crew may notice a few changes afoot.

For one, despite the fact South Park has traditionally been a huge late-night draw thanks to its often outrageous humor centering around such topics as Cartman's butt, Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo and Big Gay Al's Big Day Out, distributors had to agree to tone down the raunchiness and R-rated language to comply with broadcast standards.

"They're definitely going to have to clean it up a little bit, but I don't know how much Comedy Central's involved in that," said Comedy Central spokeswoman Lisa Chader.

To meet FCC (news - web sites) requirements, the three syndicators jointly distributing South Park--Tribune Entertainment, Debmar Studios and Mercury Entertainment--are setting up a content review board that will give executives from station groups a chance to review and approve boundary-pushing episodes for broadcast.

It won't be a walk in the park, especially in the post-Boobgate climate.

While cleaning up foul language won't be a problem, since the characters are all animated and the 'toons' lips really don't need to be synched, some whole storylines might wind up on the cutting-room floor.

At first blush, there appears to be about two dozen plots that are too edgy for a daytime run.

For example, censors might be nervous about last season's "The Passion of the Jew," in which cocreators Trey Parker and Matt Stone take aim at all the hoopla surrounding Mel Gibson (news)'s controversial Jesus epic, The Passion of the Christ.

Or what will become of the show's season-five premiere episode, in which the expletive "s--t" is uttered a whopping 162 times without bleeping? And how will South Park's classic Jesus versus Satan pay-per-view bouts play in smaller markets like Peoria?

Such over-the-top satire may bring in the highly coveted 18- to 34-year-old demo for Comedy Central (new episodes typically average four million viewers a week, according to the cable channel), but that doesn't mean it will translate for syndication.

"As a company, we are very sensitive to the current climate, but we are monitoring things closely," Craig Allison, station manager for Scripps Howard's KHSB and KMCI in Kansas City, Missouri, told Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

Neither Parker nor Stone was available for comment. They're currently finishing up postproduction on Team America: World Police, a big-screen spoof that will use marionettes to lampoon the war on terrorism, mindless action movies and celebrities.

Among top-market stations carrying the syndicated version of the series are Los Angeles' KCAL, Chicago's WCIU, Philadelphia's WPSG, San Francisco's KBHK, as well as smaller UPN affiliates whose programming schedule runs the gamut from The Simpsons reruns to repeats of That '70s Show and Friends.

Meanwhile as South Park continues its eighth poop-filled season, Paramount Home Entertainment is planning to release the DVD version of "The Passion of the Jew" episode Aug. 31, the same day Fox's DVD for Gibson's The Passion of the Christ hits video stores. The South Park disc will also feature two more religious-themed episodes: Christian Rock Hard, in which Cartman forms a Christian rock band; and Red Hot Catholic Love, a send-up of the Catholic Church child-molestation scandal that was initially banned on Australian television.

And there's more good news for fans.

Parker and Stone have reupped with Comedy Central to continue churning out more episodes of South Park until at least 2006.

Advertisement
Whether you're selling televisions or CCTV systems you might find it helpful to have some kind of barcode setup to help manage inventory. Besides one or more symbol scanners you'll also need some kind of barcode printer to make labels.


Canadians flying the Jolly Roger


Canadians are flying the Jolly Roger! Pirates run rampant!

According to the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft, Canadians are not only software pirates, we're significantly better at it (maybe 'worse at it' is a better way of putting it) than our neighbours to the south.

The recently released results of CAAST's annual global software piracy study revealed that Canada's software piracy rate is 35 per cent, 13 percentage points greater than the United States' piracy rate of 22 per cent and one percentage point lower than the global piracy rate of 36 per cent. This indicates that about one third of all software applications in Canada were pirated.

The study, conducted by research firm International Data Corp., indicates that piracy is having a significant impact on Canada, costing the economy $990 million in lost retail sales of software. This year, major software market segments - including operating systems, consumer and local-language software - were incorporated into the study.

Globally, software piracy resulted in a loss of $39 billion in 2003. The study found that while $107 billion dollars in software was installed on computers worldwide last year, only $68 billion was paid for.

Cliff Notes


Cliff ClavinIt's a little known fact that sentences containing every letter of the alphabet are called 'pangrams', or 'holalphabetic sentences'.

For example: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."


From The Land of 'OZ'



Map of OZ


Well it appears that I needed 2 solutions to my posting problems. I knew that I would find a way to post for free. Ok, so now I store pictures on Photobucket (www.photobucket.com), and HTML files and sounds and movies etc on Ripway (www.ripway.com). As a back up I also can store images on Village Photos (www.villagephotos.com).

I had to do this as although Ripway is easy and seems good on the surface, there is only 5MB bandwith allowed in each 24 hr period. And given the popularity of 'OZ', it is not an acceptable solution. For example, if 100 people go to 'OZ' in 24 hrs and my main page has 500 KB on it, Ripway serves out 100 X .5 MB or 50MB. That would mean that only the first 10 visitors to 'OZ would get any pictures. (I am expecting mail from computer nerds like myself as a MB is actually 1024 kb, but I am just making an example!)

Anyway, I think I beat the system. Should prove interesting for load speeds as when you open 'OZ' you are now drawing images and text from Shaw, Blogger, Ripway, Village, and Photobucket servers. The pictures must be as fast as the blogger server or the pictures may not load all the way.

I will evaluate as the days go by, and as usual, I would appreciate any comments that you have about the display of my blog.

Take Care,

The Wizard

Troy - Green Eyed Monster


He may be hot but the muscle between his ears is dead weight





Note From The Wizard


For everything free there is a catch. The Wizard has been doing alot of uploading to Ripway.com (Images are stored there), and as I transferred more than my daily alottment, they will be unavailable for 'OZ' until after midnight. Come back tomorrow and I'll give you the items that you seek!

Camp - A Video Review


Gay boys, straight boy, bitchy girl - all misfits - they find themselves in 'Camp'.

Click here to read the review.

Strange Photos


High on the hog? ALAPAHA, Ga. -- Chris Griffin, 31, poses beside the half-ton wild hog he shot on Thursday, June 17, 2004. No one keeps official records on hog kills, but Georgia game officials say it is the largest they have ever heard of. (07/29/04 AP Photo/River Oak Plantation)

OOPS! ISLAMORADA, Fla. -- A tractor-trailer was dangling from the side of a bridge in the Florida Keys following an accident. It was hanging by only one of its rear tires, which was hooked onto a concrete guardrail. The truck's cab did not go over the guardrail. (07/26/04 AP photo)

The leaning tower of Manilla? MANILA, Philippines -- An eight-story office building which was leaning precariously for days in one of Manila's busy commercial districts, collapses hours after occupants fled in panic following creaking sounds and bursting water pipes. No injuries were reported but the incident damaged another building across the street. (07/23/04 AP photo)

Only room for Shubert's Unfinished Symphony? SYDNEY, Australia -- Swinburne University of Technology's center for micro-photonics have constructed a model of the Sydney Opera House, see photo above, that is about half the diameter of a human hair. It is more than a million times smaller than the real Sydney structure. The model was built from a hybrid material of glass and polymer by firing intense laser light into the matter in a liquid state to create what to the human eye appears as an almost imperceptible dot, but under an electron microscope it contains the detail and the beauty of the iconic Sydney harbour side structure. (07/23/04 AP-Swinburne University)

Natasha TEL AVIV, Israel -- Natasha, a 5-year-old black macaque walks at the Safari Park near Tel Aviv. The young monkey began recently walking exclusively on her hind legs after a stomach ailment nearly killed her, zookeepers said. (07/20/04 AP photo)

Cadaver LOS ANGELES -- Gunther von Hagens, right, gestures towards a cadaver preserved through a process called "plastination" during a news conference as Jeffrey Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center watches. Hagens' "Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies," opens Friday. (06/30/04 AP photo)

Double Decked! NIAGRA FALLS, Canada -- A double- decker bus owned by Double Deck Tours Limited, based in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is shown on River Road after it sheared its roof off trying to pass under the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge linking Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, N.Y. More than a dozen tourists from Japan were injured. None of the injuries was serious, authorities said. (06/15/04 AP photo)

Pull over that ostrich! TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Police on motorscooters attempt to pull over an ostrich who escaped from a children's petting zoo. The ostrich eluded capture. (05/09/04 AP photo)

OUCH! LOS ANGELES -- Six nails embedded in the skull of construction worker Isidro Mejia, 39, after an industrial incident caused a nail gun to shoot nails into his head and brain on April 19, 2004, are seen in this X-ray image. Five of the six nails were removed in surgery that day and the sixth was removed from his face on April 23, after the swelling went down. (05/05/04 AP photo)

Ain't it strange that we can smell our own shoes or feet, but the smell of someone else's is soooo bad? MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Winner Daegan Goodman of Montpelier, Vt., holds his winning entry in the 29th Annual Odor- Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest. The city hosts the Rotten Sneaker Contest, an annual event in which "master sniffers" judge who has the worst-smelling pair of sneakers. (03/16/04 AP photo)

Would he make it thru the metal detector at the airport? Would you want him to? BOSTON -- An X-Ray, made of the stomach of a 62-year-old man who came to the emergency room of Cholet General Hospital in western France in 2002. He had a history of major psychiatric illness, was suffering from stomach pain, and could not eat or move his bowels. Doctors discovered an enormous opaque mass in his stomach that turned out to weigh 12 pounds. The patient had swallowed around 350 coins, along with assorted necklaces and needles. (02/18/04 The New England Journal of Medicine 2004)

Mad Cow? EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Fear of mad cow disease hasn't kept customers from eating the deep-fried cow brain sandwiches at the Hilltop Inn in Evansville, Ind. The delicacy is traced back to a time when southern Indiana newcomers from Germany and Holland wasted little. Some families have their own recipes passed down over the generations. (01/13/04 AP photo)

A treasure! SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- A 7-year-old boy had to be rescued with the help of a locksmith Sunday after crawling into a Sheboygan, Wis., supermarket's stuffed animal game machine while his father talked on the telephone. (01/04/04 The Sheboygan Press Photo)

Does it come in a coarser grind? GLENGARY, W.Va. -- Mary Rickard shows a can of Maxwell House coffee after discovering it was full of creamy peanut butter when she opened the factory seal. Officials of both Jif and Kraft, which owns the Maxwell House brand, are investigating. (12/17/03 AP photo)

Mr Jefferies LONDON -- Do your ears hang low? No doubt you can't compete with Mr.Jeffries. The basset hound holds the title "dog with the longest ears." His ears measure 11½ inches. The Guinness Book of Records bestowed the honor on the British pooch in its 2004 edition. (09/25/03 AP photo)

Nude Biker MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The threat of scrapes and bruises, not to mention sunburn, didn't stop the fledgling North American Nude Bikers club from holding its first rally in July 2003. (07/28/03 AP photo)

I've always wanted a white pair of alligator shoes POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. -- Ol' Blue Eyes is packing them in at the Jersey Shore. It's not Sinatra that has fans buying tickets. It's Thibodaux, a rare eight-foot-long white alligator. There are only 12 known alligators like him. (05/30/03 AP photo)


Men Charged For Tossing Explosive-Strapped Rabbit Into Lake


CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. -- Lucky the bunny is living up to her name.

Lucky
Lucky, a mixed breed rabbit was rescued after being strapped with explosives and thrown in Lake Don Castro in Castro Valley, Calif. on July 13, 2004.


It had seemed like luck had run out: Strapped to a powerful explosive with a lit fuse, Lucky was tossed into a lake.

But the explosive didn't blow up, and the rabbit was pulled out of the water.

Now Lucky's owner and his friend face misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty after photos of the July 13 incident surfaced on the Internet.

Nick Sigmon, 18, and Paul Collins, 20, are accused of taping an illegal M-1000 -- a large firecracker equivalent to a quarter stick of dynamite -- to the rabbit and throwing her into Lake Don Castro.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Crowds Jam Gay Pride Celebrations


Gay PRIDE Flags Flew in abundance
PRIDE Flags were Flying at various events

Marriage was a common theme in gay pride celebrations in San Diego, Montreal, and Vancouver this weekend.

In San Diego, Pride organizers estimate 185,000 people took part in weekend festivities. Crowds along University Avenue in the Hillcrest area cheered as the 30th annual Pride Parade rolled by.

Many of the floats bore signs saying "We all deserve the freedom to marry" and "Human Rights, Love, Freedom, Marriage."

On one float, Elvis performed a wedding of three same-sex couples.

The weekend pride festival wrapped up with a mass commitment ceremony and party at Marston Point in Balboa Park.

In Vancouver, where gay marriage has been legal for a year, about 150,000 watched as recently married couples waved the the crowd.

But, among the wedding gowns and tuxes there were plenty of leather daddies and drag queens.

A group of Japanese seniors shading themselves with sun umbrellas watched in awe as one queen fanned her massive peacock feather tail.

Jess Taylor stopped so her baby could pet the elaborate costume that must have seemed like a giant bird.

"I want her to experience all aspects of life as she grows up. This is a wonderful community where people really try to understand and love each other," said Taylor.

The parade also drew the federal leader of the New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, who also marched in Toronto's Pride Parade earlier this summer.

In Montreal, where gays also are allowed to marry, the parade featured Michael Hendricks and his spouse, Rene Leboeuf, Quebec's first same-sex couple to marry last April.

"This is the first time we've every been here as a family and we're with the rest of them," Hendricks said as a disco beat sounded from a nearby float.

"For the first time, homosexuals can constitute real social unions and we're recognized as families."

The couple has been together for 31 years. But Hendricks said marriage has given him peace of mind that Leboeuf, 49, won't face problems when the 65-year-old dies.

©365Gay.com® 2004

Ancient Japanese Proverb


Ancient Japanese Proverb


*Thanks, Auntie 'M'!

FOR ALL YOU LEXOPHILES *LOVERS OF WORDS*


1. A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired.

2. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).

3. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes.

6. She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

7. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

8. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.

9. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

10. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat minor

11. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

16. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

17. Every calendar's days are numbered.

18. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.

19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

20. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

22. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

23. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

24. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

25. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

26. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.

27. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

28. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

29. Acupuncture is a jab well done.

30. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.


*Thanks, Auntie'M' =)

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Ask The Wizard (Getting around SPAM filters)


The Wunnerfull Wizard of 'OZ' Dear Wizard of 'OZ',

I wanted to know if there is any way to get past SPAM blocking software. You see, I have a few friends who never get mail from me. I usully send jokes and stuff. Or is it that they are lying to me, and actually deleteing my emails?

Signed,

Wondering

Dear SPAM King,

It is no longer safe to assume that your e-mail message will be received, particularly the first message you send to a recipient who doesn't know you or isn't expecting it.

With "spam" (bulk, unsolicited, commercial e-mail) reportedly making up 40% of e-mail in January, 2003, spam filters are a new barrier protecting public and private e-mail systems. Spam filters are software applications designed to separate the "good" e-mail from the "bad" e-mail. They stand guard at the entrances to e-mail systems, like your ISP or an organization's internal computer network.

So, while you can no longer assume that an e-mail you send will be received, you also can no longer assume that you will be notified that it wasn't received. Typically, spam filters just delete suspected spam or divert it into folders that may never be checked. They don't send you a nice notice that your message was not delivered.

Even if someone is expecting to receive a message from you, the strategies, below, for avoiding the filtering software traps should help. Note that doing any one of these things MAY be OK, but doing several of them in the same message is asking for trouble.

DO:

When you have made a new contact or even with 'regular' friends, and for that matter companies, ask them to add your e-mail address to their address book and to the company's e-mail "friends" list (sometimes also called a "white list").

Avoiding Spam Filters:

1. Pick your e-mail provider carefully.


A "bad" ISP will stop your e-mail from getting through, all by itself. No question.

Your messages may get killed just because the source (ISP) is considered "bad." Some ISP's run an "open relay" e-mail server which makes them vulnerable to use by spammers, and those ISP's are frequently blocked, regardless of the domain name in the "From" field. Check out the domain name at spam-fighting sites like Spamcop.net to see if it is listed as a source of spam or an "open relay."

The good news is that most ISP's work to get off those lists if they get put on one.

2. Avoid sending a message to a large number of addressees simultaneously.

If you try to send a message to 50 or more addressees, your ISP may stop your message going out because they suspect it is spam (they don't want to be added to the "bad ISP" list, as in #1, above). On the receiving end, spam filters may view the large number of addressees the same way, and kill or divert your message.

Sending an e-mail message with your joke to 50 addressees at once is really not a good idea, anyway. (The Wizard has first hand experience on this. I am a reformed "SPAMMER", and thusly created 'OZ' to get my messages out. That way the reader's have a choice as to the time that they read, if at all, my supposed humourous jokes, and pictures, etc.) Customized messages are MUCH more effective.
(By the way... it doesn't matter if you use the TO:, CC:, or BCC:... ISP's can read them all. But to stop your friends from sending on every email address in YOUR book, use the BCC: field. It's a gesture that all will appreciate.. especially if you have nicknamed that "Special Friend" of yours: 'biggus-dickus', heehee!)

3. Don't change the content of the "From" field to something that will disagree with the contents of the real e-mail header.

You might be tempted to do this if you are sending a message from work and trying to disguise your employer's domain name and e-mail account. Don't! Send the message from home using your personal e-mail account without altering the message heading fields. Or, set up and use your own Yahoo or HotMail account.

4. Make sure that there is a valid address in the "Reply to" field of your message.

Your e-mail software may not require you to put an address in this field, but, frequently, it is one of the red flags a filter will use to identify a junk message.

Keep the "Subject" field simple.

1. Dont's:

Don't put punctuation in your messages subjects, particularly exclamation marks.
Don't use all capitalized words in the subject.
Don't use the words used by spammers, like "cool," "great pics," etc.
Don't use numbers that could look like spam tracking codes.

2. Try to avoid numbers in your e-mail address on the left side of the @ sign.

MSmith45792@whatever.com is not a good e-mail address. It looks like it might contain the tracking code that some spammers use. A better solution is to change your e-mail address to one that has fewer, or no, numbers in it (like MJSmith51@whatever.com or Smith-marge-j@whatever.com).

3. If you send your message as an HTML e-mail, keep the background white and the letters black.

HTML spam e-mail typically uses bright or dark backgrounds and light colored letters. Your message may look like spam if the background is not white.

4. Watch your language!

Avoid words which are over-used in spam. Think of the products and services most frequently offered in junk messages (e.g. popular prescription drugs, mortgages, body part enlargement products, etc.), words frequently used in those messages "spam" (as in "this message is not spam"). Exclude those words from your messages if you can. Forwarding an email that someone sent to you previously filtered, with "Possible SPAM" or the like will most likely NOT make it through.

MOST software filters stop messages that demonstrate several of these characteristics, not any single one. And, the triggers will change over time as spammers also change their tactics to beat the filters. As the spammers modify their approaches, the filters will change as well to defeat them. This could be called a "vicious cycle." So stay alert, and stay tuned!

Whew! That was a lot more winded than I wished it to be. But who says we live in a simple society! =)

Hope this helps. $5 bucks, please! heehee

Yrs,

The Wizard