Friday, November 22, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
CDC: Jennifer Garner, LeChuck, Blonde Hollywood Teen Star #7
Just had a dream in which I was living in a lovely duplex house above a seaside cliff. The duplex had a huge yard with some lovely hedges, a nice garden, and a bench by the cliff for assignations. There were several acres of gardens, and no real reason for the house to be a duplex which might explain why the other half was empty. There was a large pile of newspapers in front of the door to the other house, and it bothered me daily but the real estate agent said I couldn’t clean it up. I had moved there to research some super-rum invented by the Pirate LeChuck from Monkey Island. I had possibly nefarious reasons for this research, and was trying to hide it from my neighbors in the duplex. Even though there was no one living next door, I was still secretive about my super-rum recipes and research. I closed all the curtains and watched old 16mm films of LeChuck in action in the basement. These weren’t fiction, they were like family films from the 50s and 60s, but filmed by a member of the Pirate LeChuck’s crew.
It was Halloween, and I had forgotten to purchase any candy. The man from down the lane brought his children to my door for Trick or Treat, along with an enormous Grizzly Bear-sized dog. The dog liked me. I answered the door and was confused about the kid’s constumes, and said, “All Saint’s Day! Of course! Hold here a moment while I locate some sweeties.” I put my Model 1865 revolver on the floor behind the door, and dropped the crossword over it so the kids wouldn’t see it. The father did, and was only slightly bothered.
It was then that I realized I was Dracula teaching Biology or some -ology at a college, and my students and I were preparing for a whitewater rafting trip, upon which I was only planning on feeding on some of them. I also realized that I had just used an entire bag of Starbursts in my latest batch of super-rum, and only had a one of each basic color left, but they were soaking in a coconut-husk mug of extremely potent, but ultimately not the super-rum, rum. I sheepishly turned to the family, and nearly walked into the enormous dog who was perfectly silent in my creaky duplex, and held out the Starbursts. “These have been soaking in some rather potent rum, so I doubt you want your delightful children eating them. I’m sorry, children! I let my research overwhelm me sometimes, you know how it is.”
They shook their heads and stared at me, and I realized I probably just showed the whole family my fangs, good thing it was Halloween. The father started waving the kids on, saying that they would try the next house, and that maybe those people were considerate enough of the long walk down the drive to actually have some candy. I said that wasn’t likely as the other half of the duplex was empty. I promised to deliver some candy tomorrow night, as that was All Soul’s Day. The father gave me an odd look and hustled his children out the door. The gigantic bear dog stayed with me, and it must have decided to move in because it had red eyes now.
Jennifer Garner was one of my students, but not one of those I was planning on devouring. She had left her laptop and mountain bike at my house after one of the planning meetings for the whitewater rafting trip. She was annoyingly nosy, and trying to discover my secret. We had to make a trip back to my house to allow her to collect her bike and computer, and she tried to slip into my basement. I told her that I kept it locked because of the rum brewing equipment. I didn't tell her about the coffins.
The evening before the trip, we were all staying overnight in the biology department's hallways. One of the students had said that he had noticed that I could hold my breath for a really long time, during an incident on a practice trip wherein I had saved a couple of my students from drowning. During this incident, I had learned that these students were also supernatural, the boy some sort of tree-fairy person, and the girl some sort of rock-fairy person. I resolved that I would feed on and kill this annoying blonde student who looked a little bit like any fungible blonde Hollywood actor. No one would notice his disappearance, but until I murdered him I was going to mess with his head by forgetting to breathe around him. I think I actually held my breath because the next section of the dream was dominated by an increasingly loud heartbeat and pressure building in my chest in a way that shouldn’t happen to Dracula or any other vampire because they don’t need to breathe unless they are talking.
Someone suggested a game, and broke out a copy of Geeks Bidding on Closing Game Store Merchandise, with art by John Kovalich and a rules combination of Munchkin and Fluxx and Uno. We played this for a while, and then my brother suggested we watch his Lord of the Rings fan movie. I had not noticed that he was on the trip before this.
The movie covered various aspects of the Silmarillion, primarily dealing with Faenor fighting Morgoth, Gandalf smoking his pipe and talking, and the Fall of Gondolin. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense even from my perspective as a dreamer. I think Gandalf may have been meant to be a narrator. He was played a rabbit in grey robes and not a man with a beard. This movie featured stop motion animation, looked like a modern Terry Gilliam Monty Python animation, and had music by the choir from the Lemmiwinks episodes of South Park.
A large mouse in a white wizard hat, maybe Saruman, picked up Morgoth’s hammer after Morgoth’s defeat and used it to smash several characters back to life. They were lying in circles on the ground, and the mouse smashed them with the gigantic hammer and the sprung to life and started singing, then the God from Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail showed up from behind some clouds and the smash resurrected people walked off into the clouds. All I could think was that all of this was completely non-canon.
I’m not exactly sure how I was going to survive on a whitewater rafting trip as a vampire, but this was a dream, so I’m not responsible for making it logical.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Money Laundering: A Quick How-To-Get-Away-With-It
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, the Washington Post called the Liberty Reserve "one of the biggest laundering operations in history." Liberty Reserve stands accused with laundering six billion dollars. For certain definitions of big, this statement could be considered accurate. In the real world, this is like called a house sparrow one of the biggest birds in history. HSBC was accused with laundering an estimated two hundred fifty billion dollars for Iran, as well as failing to properly monitor another six hundred seventy billion dollars of wire transfers and almost another ten billion in purchased US Dollars.
Let's put those amounts in numbers:
Liberty Reserve: 6,000,000,000
Hey, that's a lot of zeros. Let's strip these down and ask an eight year old which is bigger.
Genius Nephew, which of these two numbers are bigger: 6 or 930?
* Not pictured, my nephew laughing at me, calling me silly, and pointing at 930.
Seven people have been arrested in the Liberty Reserve case. Not one person has been arrested relating to the HSBC laundering case. Let's go back to my Financial Investigator, my eight year old nephew:
Genius Nephew, which of these two numbers are bigger: 7 or 0?
* Not pictured, my nephew laughing at me, calling me silly, and pointing at 7.
The lesson is quite clear. If you're going to launder funds, go big or go to the big house. Laundering money is fine as long as the amounts involved are staggering, and you use the profits to expand your business into credit cards and other types of loans.
You might think that I am an anarchist advocating that the government shouldn't bother prosecuting cases like this in the new age of the internet, the greatest social experiment yet, but I'm not. I am a progressive with some mild anarchist tendencies, usually only expressed while inebriated, advocating the radical idea that governments apply their laws to everyone, not just the conveniently prosecuted.
I'm also disappointed with the Post for the lazy reporting. Calling Liberty Reserve "one of the biggest" when HSBC was two* orders of magnitude larger is ludicrous. $6 billion is chump change compared to $980 billion. Even the Republicans wouldn't argue too much over six billion in a budget debate, but nine-hundred eighty billion gives anyone pause. To put that in recent news perspective, that is more than 2,940 massive Powerball jackpots. Imagine if three people won 300+ million dollar jackpots every day for the next two and a half years. Just ludicrous.
* Thanks, Pinko