Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Warning: Fake E-Mails Received, Purportedly from PayPal

Don't be fooled. Within the past two days, I received two emails allegedly from PayPal asking me to verify my account. I did not follow the link in the message; instead, I went to PayPal and saw that my account was indeed verified and valid.

It's always a good idea to check the message source in these e-mails. The message headers I received looks like this:

Received: (qmail 33181 invoked from network); 30 Mar 2005 18:57:08 -0000
Received: from (HELO (
by with SMTP; 30 Mar 2005 18:57:08 -0000
Received: by (Postfix, from userid 0)
id 120C083633; Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:19:53 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Update And Verify Your PayPal Account
Content-Type: text/html
Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 02:19:53 +0000 (UTC)

Really odd that PayPal would be using a company in Taiwan to send e-mail.

Further down, there is words to the following effect.

It has come to our attention that due some internet frauds some accounts have been stolen. We now must take some actions and verify all PayPal users.

However, failure to update your records will result in account suspension.

Please update your records. Once you have updated your acco unt records, your PayPal session will not be
interrupted and will continue as normal.

To update your PayPal records click on the following link:

Bad grammar and misspacings. And PayPal is supposed to be this big company that can afford to speek and spel rite.

Also, the URL as given doesn't even work. When moused over, the following appears:

When you go to the numeric IP address, you are taken to a website in Cyrillic Russian.

So we've got three countries involved. PayPal has been notified, but hopefully you spamming scumbags who are reading this who think they've got an easy mark here - WATCH YOUR SORRY BUTTS.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Fox Cancels "Point Pleasant"

Thank goodness. I live a few miles from the actual Point Pleasant and that town isn't like that at all.

If we can blame any one person for "Point Pleasant"'s demise, it would be...

The guy who screwed up the phone numbers on "American Idol" the other night!

British "Batfink" Box

If you click on this link, you will be transported to Amazon's U.K. ordering page for a box set of "Batfink" on DVD, featuring all 100 episodes on four DVD's. These discs look handsome. (Incidentally, we do not get kickbacks on ordered merchandise from the Amazon U.K. branch.)

Now the bad news. These are PAL DVD's and they will not play on U.S. televisions, which are NTSC. The DVD's are encoded for Region 2; the U.S. is in Region 1.

If there's anything good that can come out of the shockingly meager press coverage the death of Hal Seeger has received, perhaps it will be a remembrance and awareness of Seeger's cartoon programs. And perhaps some enterprising U.S. distributor will get this complete "Batfink" set out in a format that Americans can enjoy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A Phone Call You're Bloody Not Likely To Hear Made

Hello, Fox Television Network. How may I direct your call?

Yes, I'd like to speak to programming.

What is the nature of your call?

I'd like to speak to the idiot who decided not to run "Life On A Stick" tonight.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

HAL SEEGER 1917-2005

We regret to inform you that Hal Seeger, whom we honor in a special set of pages on our website, has died. Mr. Seeger, 87, died on March 13, 2005. There will be more information on our Hal Seeger site.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Bobby Short 1924-2005

Just a few short words about Bobby.

What a genius.

He was part of the fabric of New York City for years, and he did it mostly from behind a piano at the Cafe Carlyle, where he held court for over 35 years, playing and singing the standards. Bobby also made movies and commercials, including a very well-arranged version of the "Charlie" perfume theme song. Bobby Short died today of leukemia at the age of 80, and he had been planning to tour the world after wrapping up his stint at the Carlyle this summer.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Usually when I pop a movie into the DVD player, I doze off and fall asleep about 30 minutes in, particularly if the day at work has been a little on the draining side.

Such was not the case with "Ray". What a mesmerizing cinematic experience, and not at all deadly dull - even in the almost 3-hour-long "added footage" version.

Jamie Foxx is definitely deserving of his Best Actor Academy Award. He BECOMES Ray Charles, down to the facial mannerisms, the bobbing around at the piano, and his speech mannerisms. But lest it become a one-dimensional "In Living Color" parody, Jamie throws his considerable acting skill behind it and takes it to levels never before seen from someone who cut his teeth in sketch comedy. Foxx did some of his own performing, mostly songs from early in Ray Charles' career; when the more familiar tunes came up on the soundtrack, Foxx mimed to the original Ray Charles recordings like "Hit The Road Jack" and "Georgia On My Mind".

If you're a music buff, you'll enjoy the significance of the contacts he makes along the way - meeting up with a similarly young Quincy Jones early in their careers, signing with Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun (nicely played by Curtis Armstrong) of Atlantic Records, touring with sax player David "Fathead" Newman (who the closing titles note still tours the world and practices a healthy drug-free lifestyle). His switch in the late 1950's to ABC-Paramount Records is also given some play, in a nice scene where the Atlantic honchos are chiding him for making a business decision, but eventually Ertegun, realizing the Atlantic resources aren't as deep as ABC-Paramount's, gives Charles his blessing for the move. Of course, at ABC-Paramount, Charles started out doing songs like "Hit The Road Jack" and later migrated into country stylings with choir and string backgrounds, songs like "Born To Lose" and "I Can't Stop Loving You".

The frequent scenes of Ray Charles and others shooting heroin are mostly what gives this film its PG-13 rating. But his heroin use is not without consequence, as we see him going through withdrawl (without the benefit of methadone) in gripping scenes.

If you don't have one, you can get either the Widescreen Edition or the Deluxe 2-Disc set, by clicking the links. Do it, and you'll see why Mr. Foxx deserved his Oscar.