To anyone watching the solar eclipse today...

Please don't look at the fucking eclipse directly. Seriously, you will suffer severe and irreversible eye damage, and the lack of pain during the burning process means you won't realize it until it's already happened. So no, don't look. No, not even for a few seconds. And for the love of science, don't even think of using binoculars or a telescope to do it.

I really hope I don't know anyone who actually NEEDS to be told this.

Also, please don't look at Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse directly. Seriously, you will suffer severe and irreversible eye damage. Brain damage, too.


I love writing letters to assholes.

So, a friend of mine was directed to a job opening with an organization called "Art Without Boundaries Association". She was having trouble figuring out just what the hell the job entailed, though...which is where I came in.

I quickly searched for this organization and discovered a bunch of mirrors of their non-information information, a few warnings of scam-ness, and...nothing more. For an allegedly prestigious group, they were surprisingly unknown -- didn't even have a WOT rating for their website.

So, I decided to check out their website to figure this shit out first-hand. What I saw was astonishing. Basically, they promote a completely unscientific, nigh-homeopathically bad brand of bullshit called "mnemetherapy". This 'therapy' is alleged to fix brain disorders through singing, painting, storytelling, and similar hippie crap. They are VERY careful to not call it art therapy, though, as art therapists require government licensing and are subject to government regulation, which would stifle the true purpose of their organization: sucking money out of the gullible and needy.

Basically, your 'job' is promoting "mnemetherapy". You can promote and practice it however you want to make money! Yay, bullshit pseudoscience quackery! But you can't just go out and do that on your own, see -- you need their approval first, since they thought of it. How do you get their approval? Pay them 3000 USD to take their training, of course!

But hey, don't think this is a pyramid scheme -- after all, the SECOND QUESTION IN THEIR MULTI-PAGE Q+A SAYS IT'S NOT. Now, you can get their certification for less money by recruiting others to join the same thing you're doing -- each recruit takes 500 USD off your "membership fee". So it's NOT a pyramid're just required to pay money to someone at the top (Noell Hammer, 561-460-2791, 6150 N Ironwood LN, Lantana, Florida, 33462 zipcode) while dragging others into the organization so they can ALSO pay money to the person on top while you "save money" (in the sense that you pay them less, not that you get anything you didn't have before you started).

You know, a pyramid scheme.

Anyway, once you complete your training, you have to take an on-site final by your 'mentor'. You can have the mentor come to you or you can go to the mentor -- either way, you pay for the travel and lodging (it explicitly says this in the FAQ). Once you pass, you stop paying, right? Wrong! After 90 days, you have to pay them 50 USD in dues every month for the privilege of using the name of their 'mnemetherapy' system!

Now, what can you do once you finally have this coveted, mysterious certification? Let's see what their FAQ has to say!


Membership entitles you to:

1. Your own page on the AWBA website. Your page will include photos taken during training, and photos you send in after you begin servicing accounts.

You get to be on their website's hall of shame! How marvelous?
Money this earns you: zero.

2. Participate in any AWBA sponsored fund raising campaign (we're always thinking up something!)

You get to make them YET MORE MONEY!
Money this earns you: zero.

3. Benefit from any nation-wide advertising or media coverage of AWBA.

Your brand is promoted, in the sense that as they spread, more people might see your entry in their hall of shame!
Money this earns you: zero.

4. Get access to a blog and two FaceBook private group pages that provide you with AWBA news and success stories, continuing education and the latest in MT techniques.

Jiminy Jillikers, not just a blog but TWO, count them, TWO private groups on Facebook? Amazing!
Money this earns you: zero.

5. AWBA has tax exempt status under section 501 c 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. You can deduct your membership fee and your dues since we are a Professional Association. You will also have the ability to send potential donors to the website to make tax deductible contributions.

You can deduct some of the thousands of dollars you spent on this from your taxes!
Money this earns you: zero, as you're still thousands in the red compared to before you heard of this organization.

6. The most rewarding job you will ever have!



Now, after three months of this, you CAN get a job with them -- as a 'mentor', meaning the guys who 'train' suckers like you and get to travel (on the sucker's dime) to administer their tests. Sounds great, right? Okay, hand them another 1200 USD to start their MASTER MnemeTherapist Course! How much money do you get per student? I dunno, but they say that you can "quickly recoup your investment and it comes with free travel", so it must be something! They couldn't be expecting you to pay this shit with the nonexistent money that comes from being certified to practice 'mnemetherapy', right?


So, after informing my friend of the sheer bullshit of the organization, I decided to write these guys a friendly e-mail.


I was reading your organization's website and took your 'test' and I came to an interesting conclusion.

You are a bunch of scamming motherfuckers. You prey on the gullible and needy to feed your probable cocaine habits. You are among the most horrible human beings I have ever had the displeasure of learning about. You are approximately two steps above Hitler, but three steps below cow shit. You are an insult to art therapy and all artists, everywhere, along with murderers, rapists, and arsonists, because even they have more integrity than you do, because they are upfront with their evil.

The fact that you are not in jail makes me lose faith in our justice system. You should be rotting in prison while desperately clinging onto the soap to avoid an intimate encounter with a big black man named Bubba. You skirt the law and thus protect your own ass, but what you do is morally reprehensible. The Better Business Bureau will be receiving a report on your sickening organization from me, and even if they are unable to put your sorry ass in jail where it belongs, you will still be, as you always have been, a bunch of worthless shits.

Fuck you,


There are countless scams like this on the internet, all of whom prey on the gullible and desperate. Ignoring them doesn't make them go away. To be honest, the BBB report isn't going to do shit to them and I know it -- they've got all their legal bases covered very carefully by not referring to it as art therapy. But you CAN call them out on their bullshit and confront them when you find them. It's about as practical and effective as the Kony 2012 bullshit, but hey, it's fun to insult assholes who deserve insulting, lol.



So, I'm chilling at around 3 AM. Decide to make me some chocolate milk because, why the fuck not? Go to get the milk and wouldn't you know it, it was bad. Gah. So I go to throw it in the outdoor trash. And I notice that the door is unlocked and the outdoor lights are on. This is an unusual thing at three in the morning.

I throw away the milk and glance around outside, thinking maybe my dad had to go to work super-early or was getting something out of the car. Nope, both cars were there. So I lock up and then I decide to check on the little kids.

I open the door to their bedroom and notice that my severely autistic brother is not there.

I check the bathrooms, and no, he's not there either.

At this point I begin to panic. I mean, I wasn't in control at all. I immediately wake up all the kids and ask (more like frantically demand) if they know where he is. No clue. I wake up my parents, who freak out as much as I do. We prepare to bolt out and check the neighborhood...

...only to find out that he was in the house the whole time. He'd apparently decided to leave his room at some point, fall asleep behind the couch in the dark, and then not respond when we were calling for him. Yeah. I would have kicked him if I wasn't so glad to see him.

So yeah, everything ended up okay (although someone fucking left the front door unlocked, which is incredibly stupid), but fuck was it scary. I'm still shaking as I write this. I mean, if he'd actually BEEN gone, who the fuck knows what would have happened? I have no idea how long the front door had been unlocked. If he'd left the house an hour before anyone noticed...or worse, no one noticed until morning...I don't really want to think about it. Like I said, he's seriously autistic. Not like, Chris-chan autistic, but barely-able-to-function-on-his-own autistic. Who knows where he could have wandered if he HAD left the house? A 'normal' kid would probably be able to handle themselves at night, even if they're only 11, but he ISN'T normal. And there's a creek and a very busy road not far at all from our house.

As I said, not happy things to think about.

Anyway, none of y'all are likely to care about this, but I felt like typing it out would calm my still-jittery nerves a bit, and it has, so...there we go. Now I'm going to read for a bit and try to sleep because FUCKING FUCK, was that scary. Didn't help that I'd recently read that horrible, horrible story about the six year old who fell into a woodchipper. Goddamn, the world is a fucking terrible place sometimes. Thankfully 'sometimes' is pretty rare.



Looks like I'm in the flood-range of Lee...under a tropical storm watch right now (along with like eight other watches including tornado, flash flood and rip tides). Even though it's not hitting Pensacola directly, this stupid slow fucker is still going to give us a few days of heavy rain and some nasty winds. FUN FUN

At least we'll get a break from the goddamn heat. The high today is 83, HOLY SHIT. The high tomorrow is 82, HOLY FUCKING FUCK. I haven't seen the highs that low since maybe late April or early May. I want it to be winter now. I'd much rather freeze than roast. And I'd rather drown/have a tree fall on me than roast, too.

Also anyone on the east coast should keep an eye on Katia...if it doesn't curve northeast soon, there might be a problem.

that's all for now, here's hoping none of us die horribly

Hurricane Irene

So yeah, Irene is quickly becoming serious fucking business. Currently projected to reach Cat-4 and eventually hit the South/North Carolina region as a Cat-3, continuing up into Virginia as a Cat-1.

EDIT: Okay, now the track looks EVEN WORSE than this morning. Looks like it could slash the entire east coast, even possibly hitting NYC at hurricane strength. Be careful everyone. :-(

Major hurricanes must not be underestimated -- even the strongest of structures can fail when exposed to these kinds of winds. Massive rainfall and storm surge can cause deadly flooding. If anyone is in the path of this storm, EVACUATE. Do not try to stay at home or in the area and ride out the storm. Emergency services cannot help you in the middle of the storm.

Evacuating is costly and there's always a chance that the storm will end up missing or weakening before hitting, but it's better to waste a couple hundred bucks on a near-miss than to stay at home and die.

Current NHC track for Irene:

Oh, how I missed you.

Fuck yes.

Anybody else actually play this as a kid? Fun stuff.

And amazingly, I've had four parties (Mario, Captain Planet, Gimli, and Goku) make it to Oregon without total party wipes (although Mario was the only survivor of his party, Gimli and pals got there completely naked, and Vegeta died 4 miles from Oregon).

Anyway, time for work. fun fun not really