Everyone loves my blog’s content and wants to help with it.

It seems like every day I get one to upwards of five emails from people who just love my blog and want to know if they can “collaborate” on a post or who feel they have a page that is way more informative than whatever thing I linked to in an entry written years ago and they just want me to know that if I’d be willing to link to them/let them write a post that they’d help me out by sharing my amazing website with everyone they’ve ever known in their entire lives.

Here’s an example from Tuesday the 14th with the links to their website removed:

Hi Les,

My name is Helen Sanders, I am the main editor at <website about health stuff redacted>

I just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that we recently released a very comprehensive blog post on the benefits of cold showers.

While browsing your site, I noticed you linked to a piece from treehugger.com on the same topic from this page (https://stupidevilbastard.com/2016/07/apparently-showering-is-another-thing-im-doing-completely-wrong/).

I believe our piece is a lot more comprehensive, updated and quotes more trustable sources and I think it would be a great addition to your page.

If you were willing to add our link to that page, I would be more than happy to share it to our tens of thousands of social followers to help you gain some visibility in exchange.

Here is the link for your review:<link redacted>

Let me know what you think and thank you for your consideration!

Helen

Right off the bat it’s clear that Helen hasn’t been browsing my site nor has she read the entry in question. If she had then it should’ve been clear that the last thing my entry was doing was promoting taking cold showers. If anything, it’s a humorous rant against the idea of taking cold showers regardless of how healthy it would make me because cold showers suck. As such, there’s little need for a more comprehensive or updated source of information on the benefits of cold showers. The attempt at humor is in no way reliant on the accuracy of the article I linked to.

At least Helen gave me some details on what she wants from me. Just this morning I got this exciting offer:

Hello,

My name is Rick and I would like to write a guest post for your website. I think your blog is missing one great story that would be of interest to your readers.

Send me a text if you’re interested.

Kind regards,

Rick Slot.

What could it be?? How can I allow my die-hard readers to miss out on a great story like… like whatever it is he wants to write about? How can I sleep at night not knowing what amazing thing I and my readers are missing out on?

Here’s another one from yesterday:

Hi there,

My name is Jenna, I am the main editor at <website about dogs>.

While browsing your site, I noticed you have an amazing article from this page: https://stupidevilbastard.com/2011/12/what-do-you-get-when-you-combine-cute-puppies-and-christmas/

My team actually just published a comprehensive article on <article about dogs redacted> which I think your visitors would truly appreciate and add value to your awesome article.

You can check it out here: <website redacted>

If you were willing to add our link to that page, I would be more than happy to share it to more than 40 thousands of our social followers to help you gain some visibility in exchange.

Let me know what you think and thank you for your consideration!

Cheers,

Jenna D. Collier

Then there’s the ever helpful YOU GOT A BROKEN LINK IN AN ENTRY YOU WROTE 15 YEARS AGO SO LINK TO MY WEBSITE INSTEAD. Their concern for my site having broken links is nearly palpable:

Howdy Les,

I just finished reading your piece at https://stupidevilbastard.com/2002/12/dmca_abuses_continue_to_pile_up/, and I noticed you’re linking to a discontinued website here: TechDeals.net.

I just thought your readers might like to have an updated link.

A very similar resource can be found at <link to website redacted>. Might fit in as a good replacement, if I may say so myself 😀

Just a thought – keep up the great work and have an awesome day.

Cheers,

Angelica

Angelica here isn’t even offering to share my amazing article with her “umpteen tens of thousands, no, literally millions of visitors” for my trouble.

You need to step up your game, Angelica.

Shall we do one more? Sure, let’s do one more from two days ago:

Hi Les,

My name is John Rizzo and I run a one man PR/marketing agency. I recently found your blog and wanted to reach out on behalf of some of my clients.

Specifically, we are interested in guest posts and sponsored posts. Is this something you offer?

If so, could you please send over more information.

I appreciate your time and I hope the rest of your week goes well!

Thanks,

John Rizzo

You can tell John’s a professional as he’s using a standard Gmail account to send his inquiries. I’m sure all of those guest/sponsored posts would be of the highest quality.

To be honest, I’m surprised that I get a constant stream of emails like these considering the traffic to my blog isn’t what it used to be. The pages they want me to add their links to aren’t even in the top 10 of most popular threads on SEB. Most of them won’t even show up in the first few pages of a Google search for those topics. I can only assume they’re trying to gain page rank by getting as many places as possible to link to their websites.

Now usually I just delete these emails as they come in, but there’s a new trend as of late that has led to this rant: They won’t stop emailing me until I reply.

Allow me to illustrate with this one from March 13th:

Hi there,

I was just browsing Stupid Evil Bastard and saw you were interested in gaming from this post (https://stupidevilbastard.com/tag/ps3/), and so I thought you might also be interested in linking to a resource we put together on the health benefits of playing video games.

Here is a link for your review: [link redacted]

Our post is comprehensive, up to date, and quotes trustworthy sources to give our readers the best information available. We think it would be a great resource for your readers as well.

If you were willing to add our link to that page, I would be more than happy to share it to our tens of thousands of social followers to help you gain some more visibility in exchange.

Let me know what you think and thanks for your consideration!

Regards,

Danielle

Damn, but that sounds very familiar. Almost like Danielle and Helen from up top use the same automated bot to send those emails out. I love that Danielle here doesn’t even link to a specific entry, but to the category tag for posts about the PS3.

Anyway, I deleted the email and went about my business. Three days later I get this:

Hi ,

I just wanted to follow up and see what you thought of linking to our site on your blog.

Just double checking you received our previous email.

Looking forward to sharing some of your content across our social following, let us know what you think.

Regards,

Danielle

Once again I deleted it. Much like Jesus, three days later she was back again:

Hi,

I just wanted to follow up on my previous email and hear your thoughts on linking to us in one of your blog posts.

We would be happy to share your blog post across our thousands of social followers in return.

Let me know what you think by shooting me a quick reply.

Regards,

Danielle

So too did Helen, from the first example up top, continue to pester me:

On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 7:00 AM “Helen Sanders” wrote:
Hi there,

I understand you are a busy person and your time is valuable but did you have some time to look at my last email? (see above).

I’d love to collaborate with your site!

Many Thanks,

Helen

 

On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 3:00 AM, Helen Sanders wrote:
Hi there,

I will give this one last shot, did you have time to review my proposal? I’d be really excited to collaborate with you.

Best,
Helen

These fuckers can’t seem to take a hint.

So today I replied to Helen with a very simple “no thanks” — that was literally all the email said outside of “Helen” and “Les” — and apparently that just wasn’t good enough for Helen. Almost as soon as I sent her my reply this morning I got this back:

Hi Les,

Thanks for taking the time out to get back to me.

I was just wondering if you had any feedback on why you weren’t interested so that I can take it on board while promoting my work in the future.

I really appreciate the opinions of the people I’m reaching out to, so anything I can take on board is appreciated 🙂

Thanks

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time you already know that I don’t deal with annoyances all that well and I was pretty proud of myself for limiting my first reply to Helen with just a “no thanks” and not some profanity laced tirade. Helen, as I said previously, hasn’t really read my blog. My response to this latest missive strains to stay civil with her and I think I just barely managed it:

Helen,

I’m getting roughly 3 to 4 of these offers every single day for the past few years. I’m surprised so many people want to associate their products with a site with the name Stupid Evil Bastard. I literally just told another person making this sort of offer “no thanks” before typing up this reply. [Editor’s Note: That would’ve been Rick’s offer of a great entry of some unspecified type that I reproduced above.] Everyone loves my content and wants to write for my blog except that it’s clear based on the couple of folks I did entertain the thought with that this is entirely for your benefit to drive traffic to your site and/or promote your product. Nine times out of ten the topic of whatever someone wants to write about for my blog has little to nothing to do with what my blog is about (mainly, things that catch my attention) or even the page they claim they saw that inspired them to contact me. It’s pretty clear these requests are ads disguised as posts. One you probably don’t wish to pay me for or, if you do, the amount is hardly worth considering. I’m often told to consider the extra “exposure” the ad-post will generate for my blog as though I needed more exposure. In short, it’s a pretty one-sided equation that benefits you more than me.

I’ve been blogging for 16 years now. For awhile, I accepted guest posts from my regular readers who wanted to participate in the community I’d managed to build up. None of those guest entries were ever anything close to an ad or an attempt to drive traffic someplace else. I’m not as active as I once was and my readership is down to the most loyal of regulars. I’m fine with that. It was never about being at the top of the search results or making a ton of money. It was a place for me to express myself for those who were interested. Nothing more. Needless to say, my blog is a deeply personal thing to me. Frankly, the number of people who wish to exploit it for their own gain is more than a little annoying.

Sincerely,

Les Jenkins

P.S. I’m probably going to blog this.

I’ve not heard back from Helen. With any luck this is enough of a hint for her to not bother sending a reply. It annoys me that I am going to have to respond to each and every one of these offers with “no thanks” as they come in or put up with an endless stream of WHY HAVEN’T YOU REPLIED TO MY AWESOME OFFER???

So let me just say this right here and now: Dear people who think it’d be a great idea if I helped you to promote your website/product at no cost to you. Don’t bother sending me your sales pitch because it’s not going to happen. At least, not unless you’re willing to toss me some serious greenbacks. I don’t need “tens of thousands” of people to see my blog, but I would be happy to sell out for “tens of thousands” of dollars. This would be particularly handy right now as I’m in the process of buying a house and could use the extra cash.

So, once again just to be clear, I don’t need your exposure, but I would take your cash as long as it’s substantial. I doubt any of you will be making such an offer anytime soon so you may as well not waste the electrons it would take to send me an email.

Sincerely,
Me

UPDATE: Holy Christ on a cracker! I’ve not even PUBLISHED this entry yet and Rick Slot — of the “I wanna write a guest post, let me know if you’re interested” I quoted above to which I had replied simply “I am not” — has just replied with the following:

Hello, Les

Thank you for the reply. Do you post sponsored articles?

Best wishes,
Rick

Seriously, what does it take for these people to understand the concept of “no”?  I’m half-tempted to send him a dictionary definition, but perhaps I’ll just send the link to this entry. Maybe he’ll offer me tens of thousands of dollars to let him write a guest post. Also, maybe I’ll be made Queen of England. Probably about equal chances of both, right?

The dangers of free promotional crap.

At my job as an IT Jedi one of the responsibilities I’ve been handed is the purchasing of miscellaneous items that are sometimes needed. Replacement hard drives, memory upgrades, adapter cables, that sort of thing. Every week or two I put together a list of requested purchases from our users and, when approved, I place the order with Newegg and/or, on the rare occasion, Amazon. When I look for items I try to find stuff that’s on sale and sometimes those things come with promotional items at no extra charge. For example, we’ve gotten free universal power adapters in the past which I tossed in a drawer and hand out when someone leaves their laptop charger at home.

A recent purchase of a Samsung SSD for one of our users came with a promotional item too. The video game Assassin’s Creed Unity. It’s important to note that I am not dumb enough to try and get away with using a corporate credit card to buy myself a video game, especially one I’ve no particular interest in (I’m way behind on AC games not even having played AC III yet). I noted it was included as a promotional item at no extra charge and didn’t think much of it because Samsung has done stuff like that in the past with the second Batman video game.

As it turns out it wasn’t a promotion by Samsung, but by Newegg themselves so it showed up on the list of items being purchased. I couldn’t see any way to remove it from the order so I let it go through. It ended up showing up on in the cart as an item immediately followed by a credit for the full amount thus costing the company nothing. When the invoices came in, however, the order was split over more than one of them and for some reason the credit for the game shows up on an entirely different invoice than the one the “purchase” shows up on. So it looks like I bought a game on the company card.

When I came into work today I had an email from the fellow who has to justify all the purchases of stuff from Newegg (it’s his company card we use) asking me to refrain from buying game codes on the company card even if it didn’t actually cost the company anything. I explained that I didn’t have a choice as there didn’t appear to be a way to tell Newegg no thanks for the freebie and I didn’t even want the game to begin with, but that I’d try to avoid it in the future if at all possible. I’m not in any real trouble and I can understand how it looks a bit odd to the higher ups so it’d be best to not repeat it.

Here’s the kicker to this little story: I tried the game code — it was free and it’s not like the company is going to use it. The game boots up and gets to the title screen with the PRESS ANY BUTTON TO START message. When you press a button it tries to play the opening cinematic and immediately crashes to the desktop.

This GIF seemed appropriate to this story.

This GIF seemed appropriate to this story.

It’s always annoying when…

I’m sitting here and I can’t help but notice that there’s a spot on one of the lenses of my reading glasses. So I take them off and polish it up using the satin cloth that came with the glasses and put them back on, but that damned spot is still there. I take them off again and try breathing on the lense to fog it up a bit and take the cloth to it again. Yet the damned spot persists. Third time’s the charm, right? Especially when I take them off and go over to the eyeglass cleaning thingy the company has thoughtfully provided nearby and use the liquid cleaner and the lint free paper wipes to give both lenses a good rubbing. I go back to my desk and put them back on and — what the fuck? — the spot is still there!

That’s when I realize I’m seeing a reflection of part of my own eye thanks to the overhead fluorescent light fixture above and directly behind my head. Fuuuuuuuccckkkkkkk…

monday mornings

The curse of the vague instructions.

“Shake Well” it says in tiny letters along the bottom edge of the cup.

I’m finding that as I get older I’m turning more and more into a crotchety old man. Also I think about some things entirely too much. Certainly more thought than they deserve.

Take as an example the simple instructions on so many foodstuffs these days to SHAKE WELL. This was brought to mind for me the other day as I sat at my desk at work as I was about to add some flavored coffee creamer to my morning cuppa. I looked down at the package in my hand and saw the demand printed there in all caps between the declarations NO REFRIGERATION NEEDED and UHT PROCESSED.

I hadn’t been in the habit of shaking the little cups of creamer previously and I wondered if I had been experiencing a sub-par coffee experience as a result. Being that I usually put at least two of them into my coffee I decided to run an experiment. The first cup I would open as I usually did without shaking it to any degree and then I would shake the second one and open it and see if I could discern any differences between the two.

That’s when it occurred to me that I wasn’t sure what is meant by “shake well.” I understand the why of shaking some products before using them. Some mixtures separate when left sitting for too long, particularly if they contain both water and oil as part of their ingredients. What annoys me is the vagueness of the instruction. Is that three or four shakes? Is it at least 5 seconds of shaking? Could it be as long as 20 or 30 seconds if I want the mixture to be optimal? Is there a set number you have to pass before it’s considered to have been shaken well? Also, what the hell is so important about UHT processing that they felt the need to tell me it had undergone it?

Doing a Google search wasn’t particularly helpful. Others have asked this same question and the answer seems to vary depending on what product you’re talking about. Medicines seem to have the longest suggested shake times of at least 30 seconds or so. Everything else is left to whatever whims you happen to be predisposed to. Someone asked this very question on Yahoo! Answers UK and the responses were about as varied (and snarky) as you would imagine.

In the end I opted for about a half-dozen quick flicks back and forth pinched between my thumb and forefinger and then I opened it up and compared it to the unshaken cup. I couldn’t discern a difference. Both of the milky-looking substances appeared to be of the same consistency with no obvious separation of oils or other ingredients in the unshaken cup. And then it occurred to me that it’s probably a moot point because once you’ve put the creamer into your cup you’re going to stir it anyway so that it blends throughout your coffee. Even if you flat out refuse to shake well before using it’s still going to get mixed in pretty well by the stirring, unless you refuse to that as well. In which case shaking it might make some detectable difference. I don’t know as I didn’t undertake that experiment because by that point in time I’d grown bored with it.

Ultimately I’ve decided that I shall be a rebel and not shake my creamer packages well — or even mediocrely — prior to putting them into my coffee because I’ll be stirring the shit out of it anyway and there’s no point in the extra effort. Also I learned that UHT stands for Ultra High Temperature which is a process of food sterilization.

I'm happy to say that I only mispronounce, at most, two or three of these wo…

I'm happy to say that I only mispronounce, at most, two or three of these words.

Sherbert is one I've always mispronounced, and I screw up prerogative quite often, which, also, I tend to screw up. #seb #Language #Pronunciations #Annoyances

Embedded Link

5 Words You've Got To Stop Pronouncing Incorrectly
Unless you speak with an endearing, cool-sounding accent, you can make yourself sound like a moron if you mispronounce certain words. Using casual utterances that are OK with friends and family can create a stigma that's tough to change if you do so in professional situations such as interviews or presentations.

A 2008 Primer article that's been making the rounds again identifies many of these verbal landmines. Here are five words you don't want to get wrong when it counts:

* Nuclear. It's …

Did you remember to Spring Forward?

Yes it’s that time of year again! The return of the dreaded Daylight Savings Time. A pointless annual ritual of sleep schedule disruption for reasons that aren’t probably all that beneficial these days. There was a rumor that Barack Obama might get rid of it altogether, but apparently it was only a rumor. Shame really as I’d be more than happy to be rid of it myself. Especially since President Goofball Bush opted to extend it and totally fucked up my alarm clock’s ability to adjust itself automatically like it used to.

Well at least it’s a sure sign that spring isn’t too far off. Happy DST day everyone!

Ah the joys of finicky hardware!

After spotting a good deal on PC3200 RAM I finally broke down and upgraded my desktop from it’s lowly 1GB of RAM (2x512MB) to a slightly more roomy 2GB (2x1GB). The RAM itself is from the OCZ folks who also made the 512MB sticks I was using previously. The motherboard is a DFI Lanparty UT NF4 SLI-DR Expert (whew!) which means it’s a performance board which means it’s finicky as hell. Using the stock BIOS settings it wouldn’t boot into Windows at all, but I managed to get out to the Official OCZ Support Forums and found that they do an excellent job of listing off how to get their RAM to work with various motherboards. They had a listing of BIOS settings for me to try specifically for the DFI NF4 motherboards and that particular model number of RAM.

And it works, mostly. Windows boots up and will run, but it gets upset anytime it feels there’s too much sustained or heavy hard drive access. Which means there’s a 50/50 chance immediately after the desktop appears that the system will crash to a warm boot. If I start a large file copy, such as backing up folders in preparation to restage because it’s been awhile since I’d last done it, that’ll go for a short time and then a crash to a warm boot. If I try to play WoW it’ll load up and run for a bit and then when it does some heavy disk access, say when I enter the city Shattrath which has a lot of people in it, it’ll crash to a warm boot. For standard stuff like browsing the web or writing blog posts it seems like as long as it makes it past the initial start up of Windows it’ll run fine. It’s been crash free for the past hour and a half. But I know if I try to backup those files it’ll die within minutes.

Obviously I’ve got some tweaking to do, but I’m having trouble figuring out which setting needs the tweak. So I registered on the OCZ forums after doing much searching there without success (most folks can’t get their machines to boot at all) and I posted about my unique situation in hopes someone can offer some ideas. In the meantime it looks like I’m limited to lightly disk intensive applications.

“Grand Theft Auto IV” has crapped out on me.

So about six hours of game time in I had just finished the mission where you deal with the problem of Vlad (if you’ve played it then you know where I was) when the game suddenly locked up during the cut scene at the end of the mission. Oh, I thought to myself, this must be the much-discussed lockup bug. So I rebooted the console and tried to launch the game. It went through the load up screens and then tried to load the last save point at which point it just sat there strobing the loading text at me for far longer than usual. When the music ended and it sat there in silence still strobing the text I figured it wasn’t going to load and rebooted the console again. Since then I’ve deleted all the save files I had, the profile, and the installation files and yet it does the same thing every time. Goes through the load screens and sits there strobing the text STARTING A NEW GAME at me endlessly. Considering that I never saw the “starting” text the first time I loaded the game the fact that I was seeing it at all wasn’t a good sign.

Now this is disturbing because my issue doesn’t sound like what other folks have been having. They all report that they get to the first cut scene and then it locks up. I’m not even making it that far. When I check the files on the hard drive I can see that the game has managed to make a profile, but not a save file so I know it’s locking up pretty early in the process. The consensus seems to be that the problem is related to the Internet connectivity and that’s one thing I haven’t tried turning off yet so we’ll see if that fixes it. I’ve not gotten a chance to try it yet today as we got up and took Melvin, the official SEB cat, to the vets then went out for lunch and an early showing of Iron Man (Super Short Review: Go see it. It’s good.) and when we got home the TV was occupied.

It’s a little bizarre to have the game work fine for two days straight and then lock up and refuse to run after that. Still I’ll try disabling the internet connectivity next and see what happens. Either way I’m not too worried about it as they’ll eventually get a patch together for it at some point. It is rather annoying though.

Update: Turning off the Internet connection got the game working again just fine. I’m back to where I was before it locked up on me the first time. So it appears it’s related to the networking in some fashion. I expect they’ll have a patch for it in short order.

Yep, it must be Monday…

… when you get to work and realize you’ve managed, yet again, to rip out the crotch in your slacks. Last time this happened was as I was getting into the car to head home. Figures this time it would happen at some point on the way here. Both pairs of slacks this has happened with have been in my wardrobe for quite awhile now so I suppose this is to be expected. The hole is right along the seam and it’s not so big that anything is flapping in the breeze, so to speak, but it’s still embarrassing and there’s the potential of revealing whether I’m a boxers or briefs man whenever I’m sitting down. Going home, changing, and coming back would take the better part of an hour and I’m already here so I’m not inclined to bother.

Guess I’ll just have to be very careful which chairs I sit in today.