Tag Archives: online

What happened next will blow your mind

I started writing this article, and you’ll never believe what happened next. What happened next was so shocking, I don’t even think it’s possible to explain what actually happened, not without totally blowing your mind and completely changing your entire outlook on life. Keep reading to find out exactly what happened, something you’d never expect, something totally unbelievable, and yet absolutely incredible. Incredible and heartwarming. And unexpected. Can you believe that your entire world is about to be shaken to the core?


Because what happened next will leave you speechless. You won’t be able to speak. It’ll wear off eventually, but in the meantime, it’s just going to be you and your thoughts, or whatever’s left of them. You’ll be sweeping up the fragmented remains of what you thought was your mind, because I’ll have shattered it, by writing this piece, and telling you all about what happened next.

You won’t believe what happened next. You’ll never believe it. Part of me wants to tell you to just get lost, to stop reading right now, to turn around and never come back. Because you can’t handle it. You probably can’t handle it. Most of you definitely won’t be able to handle it. Maybe a few of you will. I have a pretty good idea of who’s going to stick around and who’s going to take a hike. Will you be one of the few to keep reading? Keep reading to find out.

Find out if you have what it takes to keep reading. Just answer a few simple multiple choice questions to see if you’re the kind of person who commits to finishing something that you started, like reading this article. I took this fun and simple quiz and my result was: committed. “You are the type of person who doesn’t take no for an answer.” That’s what it told me. What’ll it say about you? It’s only like five or six questions. Just take the quiz.

Because the answers are going to shock you. My friend took an online quiz one time, and what happened next changed his life forever. He spent like ten or fifteen seconds clicking boxes on some quiz web site, and the results changed his outlook on humanity forever. Don’t believe in online quizzes? Yeah, I hear you. I used to think it was all a load of baloney. But then I tried one, and the course of my life was irrevocably altered. I haven’t looked back.

You shouldn’t look back either. Just keep going. Keep reading. And at the end, would you mind taking a brief survey to let me know how I’m doing? Just so I can better tailor my product based on the overall satisfaction of your experience. It’ll only take maybe two or three minutes, it’s another set of multiple choice questions.

And if you take the survey, which I’d really appreciate, I’ll say thanks. My way of saying thanks is automatically enrolling you in a drawing to win the opportunity to save big on select purchases with some of my online affiliate partners. Talk about a savings, talk about a great deal. You seriously can’t afford not to keep reading, to not take my online quiz and online survey, in fact, if your browser isn’t being automatically redirected within five seconds, just click refresh, just start reading again from the top.

And I can guarantee you that once you’re done, you won’t be the same person. One time my mother clicked on an ad to save big online, and what happened next will totally shock you. In a good way. Not like my grandmother. One time my grandmother clicked on an online ad, and what happened next will terrify you. It’s a terrifying story. Did you know that one in three online grandmothers are going to be susceptible to computer hacking and fraud during their lifetimes? Click here to run a free diagnostic of your computer. It’s like an online quiz, but for your PC. You’ll save big. Trust me. And after you’ve saved big, what happens after that is going to be totally awesome. Click here to read more.

One hundred happy days: day one

I’m really trying to get into that whole one hundred days of happiness thing that I see all of my friends doing on Facebook. Everyone just,looks so genuinely happy. Like my friend Bill had a photo up the other day, it was of him holding a movie ticket, and he wrote, “Just had a great time at the movies! #daysix #100happydays.”


And so I was like, that’s cool, I want in. So I went to the movie theater, and I really wanted to see that movie where Scarlett Johansen is that alien, where she goes around a kidnaps people. But I couldn’t remember what the name of the movie was, so when I got to the ticket machine, I just bought a ticket for the first Scarlett Johansen movie that I saw. And it wasn’t the right movie, this one was all about her getting super brain powers, and Morgan Freeman was in it. I tried taking a photo of the ticket stub anyway, but why would I lie about being happy if I was anything but?

No, if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right, from day one. And so the next day I was online and one of my coworkers put on Instagram this picture of a burrito: “nomnomnom so happy, me so happy, #daythirtyfive #100 …” you get the point, right? So I was like, yeah, burritos sound awesome, like just what I need to kick-start these next hundred days.

When I went to the Mexican place by my house though, I don’t know if the guy was messing me though, because I asked him, “Hey listen man, can I get no rice on that burrito? Just, yeah, pork is cool, I like spicy, but please, no rice.” And he was like, “You got it boss.” But then when I went home, I took the burrito out of the bag and knew something was wrong right away, just holding it in my hand, it felt way too light, like very airy. I knew there had to have been rice in there.

And yeah, it was like all rice. I took a bite, I took another bite, hoping that maybe there was just a little rice, maybe just unevenly distributed, concentrated right in that one bite. But no, I unwrapped it after a third bite and it was like ninety percent rice, five percent iceberg letter, four percent tortilla, and then trace elements of pork and salsa.

Whatever, I wasn’t going to go back and get in this guy’s face, OK, I didn’t want to get banned from the Mexican place or anything. But I wasn’t happy about it. I tried getting over it, just watching some TV, relaxing on the couch, but I couldn’t get happy. I looked up online, “How to force yourself to be happy,” and the first thing that came up was, “Why don’t you try smiling? Often times, if you smile, even if you’re not happy, the muscles in your mouth signal your brain to start releasing endorphins!”

And so, yeah, I gave it a shot, I started smiling, I don’t know how long I was supposed to hold it for though, but after like a minute, a minute in a half, I definitely wasn’t any happier, and the sides of my face started to hurt. Two days, two decidedly unhappy days. I resolved to commit to the first day of happiness starting the next day.

I woke up and checked my Twitter feed, and one of the Internet celebrities that I follow had a picture of a glass of wine, the same day twelve hashtag, the same one hundred days of blah, blah, blah. I was just about to give up on the whole thing, but then I thought, well, why not? I was off for the whole day. Why not kick back with a glass of wine? It might be just the thing to get the happiness started.

So I opened a bottle of wine, and then I had a couple of beers, and then at some point my friend Bill came over and things got a little fuzzy after that. But it must have worked, because when I came to the next day, I checked out my news feed, and there it was, it was me. I had taken all of these selfies, and I kept writing about how happy I was, “Look at me!” my status update said, “Day 100! I did it!”

And I’m telling you, I got like close to sixty likes. “So happy for you Rob #100days!” random people that I hadn’t talked to in years were congratulating me on a job well done. And why correct them? I definitely felt happier. It totally worked. I just had to get over myself, get past my hang-ups and let loose. I can’t recommend it enough. To anybody on the fence, just take the plunge, OK, don’t even second-guess yourself. Just be happy for a hundred days. OK? It’s awesome. #Happy.

My heart is bleeding

I just don’t feel safe anymore. Ever since the Internet found out about that huge security breach, Heartbleed. It was something to do with https, right? Whatever that means. I’m not too sure about the specifics, but all I know is, everything’s different now. Nobody’s safe.


When I first heard out about the breach, I thought to myself, I got this, I know what to do. And so I took out a fresh legal pad, I started coming up with all of these new passwords for all of my various online accounts. I try to do it like once every six months anyway, but I thought at first that this was a good thing, that I was ready, like my Internet habits were already pretty solid, you know, at least in terms of security, that this gaping hole the online force field was exactly what I had prepared myself for.

I do all of these crazy passwords, all sorts of acronyms with numbers and letters and random capitalizations. And I keep them all on that legal pad in front of my desk. And each different password is sort of its own separate sentence that, when combined with all of my individual online accounts, turns into this semi-coherent narrative.

It helps with the memorization process. At first I rely on it pretty heavily, reciting to myself the sentences and what keys to press for each word. And after a while, a couple of weeks or a month later, I’m not even thinking about it anymore, it’s like my fingers incorporate the keystrokes into their muscle memory.

This all takes a while, coming up with new passwords, playing them back over and over again in my head. But I did it, I finally came up with the perfect change of online locks. I was actually a little disconcerted to find that, when I attempted to change all of my passwords, my accounts had all told me that it had been over a year since my last password reset.

Had I really let a year slip by? What happened to all of that six month stuff that I was talking about earlier? It’s like the dentist. They call me up every six months to schedule a cleaning, and each time my phone rings, each that I see that 1-800-SMILE-DR pop up on caller ID, I think, what? Six months already? It just doesn’t mesh with the rest of my life. I’m usually a great judge of time, of how long things take. Like if you put a bag of popcorn in the microwave, I can usually predict within ten seconds or so when the timer is going to beep.

But whatever, I changed everything and made it a point to not forget about it again six months from now. Only, and this kind of caught me by surprise. I started getting emails from all of my online accounts. And then I started reading in the newspapers about just how severe this security breach actually was.

“Don’t change your passwords just yet,” was the message I was getting, “because until they figure out how to patch the flaw, you’re just going to be feeding a new password to any potential hackers.”

So that sucked. I had just spent like a good two hours coming up with my own personalized encryption. And it was all for nothing? It’s the worst, because there’s no way I’m going to be able to get myself to commit a similar amount of time to passwords anytime soon. Can you imagine leaving the dentist only to have him call you up a week later?

“Hey Rob, it’s the Smile Doctor. Yeah, I’m actually going to need you to come in for another cleaning this week. Yeah, I know it’s really soon, but trust me, OK, you’re going to want to do it again.”

I’d be like, “Yeah, OK, let me get back to you once I have an idea of what my schedule looks like.” And then I’d hang up and I wouldn’t answer the phone for the rest of the month.

So it’s like, what, now I’ve just got to be resigned to the fact that hackers might have access to my Instagram? My Twitter? That’s terrible. Jeez, I’m just imagining all of my photos and Tweets, and to think, all of that content might be compromised. I don’t know what I’m going to do. How am I ever going to get myself to open up and trust the Internet again? And this blog? How do you even know that I’m the one writing right now? This could all be a sophisticated network of hackers trying to copy my writing style in hopes of luring you into a sense of futility or complacency when it comes to cyber-security.

How can you trust me? How can I trust myself? What about Pinterest, have the hackers gotten into my Pinterest yet? What if they tell everybody that I’m using Pinterest? I feel like I’m looking into an online mirror, and I don’t even recognize my online reflection anymore. What’s happening to my online identity? When is the Internet going to be safe again?

I bought it on eBay

When I was in high school, I worked at a local restaurant, first behind the counter, scooping ice cream and making cappuccinos, and later on the floor, waiting tables and collecting tips. I’ve written about this before, but the result was four years where I had a lot of disposable income and almost nothing to spend it on. Sure, once I bought a car things changed a little bit. I had to buy gas and insurance and all of those repairs I needed from backing up into street signs and stuff like that. But I was still basically swimming in cash.


I had a computer in my bedroom with access to the Internet via a 56k modem which, yes, it’s inconceivably slow compared to my high-speed connection now, but I remember what pre-56k was like, and this was cutting edge at the time. At RadioShack I bought a really, really long telephone cable and I strung it from the downstairs phone jack all the way up to my bedroom upstairs. Presto, even before I bought my independence a couple of years later with my 1991 Dodge Stealth, now I had an outlet to almost anything I wanted.

I had the Internet. I had cash. There wasn’t anything else required. I would go on eBay and bid on all sorts of garbage. When I won a bid, I would get an envelope, I would stuff it with cash, and I’d wait for my treasure to arrive in the mail. Everything started out pretty small-time. One of my first bids was for a DVD copy of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. Ten bucks in the mail, it wasn’t too big of a risk. And everything worked out fine.

But my purchases started increasing in value. I was really big into Dragon Ball Z at the time, and being a Japanese import, I was limited to what the TV stations decided to translate and dub to English. I knew that more existed out there, entire seasons that weren’t brought to the US at a pace to my liking, accessories and even video games.

All of the video games were in Japanese, and only playable on the Super Famicom, Japan’s version of the Super Nintendo. So I did what any fifteen-year-old with money to burn would do: I found one on eBay, I bid on it along with all of the games, and I mailed out the cash to some random address in Arizona, hoping that the seller would make good on his or her end of the deal.

It was a little crazy, mailing all of that cash. Even eBay strongly advised against it, warning me that I should send money orders, or checks, or whatever. But this was before I had a car, so I couldn’t really get out of the house without raising questions from my mom and dad. “What do you need a money order for a hundred and dollars for? Japanese video games? No, sorry, I’m not driving you to the bank for that.”

And I don’t know if it was luck or if I happened to have only done business with the most reputable of international video game importers, but nobody ever just pocketed my cash. All of goods eventually arrived. And there were lots of goods. Some of the stuff was pretty mundane, like comic books, more video games.

But a lot of the stuff that I bid on and bought, it was stupid, the very definition of an impulse purchase. I bought a pair of nunchucks. Why? I don’t know. I thought it would have been cool. And it was cool for like three seconds, before I put them on a shelf somewhere in my childhood bedroom. They’re probably still there, collecting dust, a symbol of the clutter that I’m constantly accumulating as I make my way through life.

Twenty dollars for a model kit of that 1991 Dodge Stealth. I never set it up. I remember looking at all of those little pieces in the box and thinking to myself, yeah, maybe I’ll build this thing one day, all while another voice said matter-of-factly, you’ll never open this box again. Put it next to the nunchucks. Whatever, twenty bucks gone, who cares?

I bought an old beer clock from a bar, some ridiculous piece of rust that lit up when you plugged it in. There were weird used obscure punk rock t-shirts that, regardless of how many times I ran them through the spin cycle, I could never get that crusty cigarette smell to disappear completely. Probably the low point of my eBay consumerism was a piece of WWF wrestling paraphernalia I had sent to my house. It was only five dollars, and it seemed cool at the time: a Kurt Angle novelty driver’s license.

This thing showed up in an envelope, it was basically just a piece of white paper that was very obviously printed out of some guy’s printer, he must have hand cut it with a pair of scissors, and then ran through a laminating machine. It was so stupid, citing bogus made-up credentials, like, “Address: 100 Olympic Way.” Because he was in the Olympics. Get it?

I stared at it and finally had a moment of revelation, that I was just throwing money away, all in exchange for garbage. When was I ever going to use this driver’s license? It wasn’t even cool looking enough to keep in my wallet.

I’m glad I got my eBay phase done with while I was young, because every once in a while I’ll revisit the site, I’ll start typing in keywords related to my current interests. And yeah, lots of seemingly cool looking stuff pops up. With the “Buy-It-Now” feature, I’m only one click away from having whatever I want shipped to my house. And look, now I’m an adult, I have a credit card, I don’t have to worry about stuffing an envelope with a stack of fives and tens.

But I get a sense memory of that old dusty smell. It was identical, regardless of where a package was shipped. It smelled like the basement, like an attic. Like, wow, I have a bunch of crap lying around my house. Maybe I can get someone to buy it on eBay.