Category Archives: Miscellaneous

New sticker…

Yes, as the airport announcements say “many bags look alike”, but even with several obvious things on mine to differentiate it, I have had someone else take it.

I decided to have some stickers made to help out…


30 year old mailing lists…

Approximately 30 years ago I learned about “mailing lists” being sold for profit. Out of curiosity, I created a few fake company names just to track how they might proliferate. I hadn’t thought about this in a a very long time until recently I started receiving mail addressed to one of these companies I created so long ago. It is amazing that after thirty years, and eight address changes, mail addressed to one of the companies “Pelican Productions” started showing up in fairly large quantities at my current address. I almost feel bad for the companies that paid money for some mailing list from that long ago.

A nostalgic look at answering machine messages.

Not all that long ago, answering machines were a really useful tool that we all felt we had to have. I’m talking 1990’s, when not everyone had a cell phone, and people actually looked forward to reviewing their answering machine messages when they got home from work.

Back then (when it was so… important :), my wife used to cringe at my tendency to have a little fun with the recordings we had on our machine. I remember a few messages that provoked some serious and humorous responses. One time I had a computer synthesized voice that said “Brian and Sheila are no longer available, I have taken control….”. My mother was really disturbed by that one. On another occasion I had one I recorded (in my best Voice Response System type voice) which said…. “You have reached the Blankenships, Press #1 if you are calling about home improvements, Press #2 if you are selling lawn treatments, and if you are the Courier Journal calling to get me to subscribe to the daily paper, please hang up now!”. That one got lots of laughs, and one rude comment which I imagine was someone soliciting subscriptions which happened almost daily at the time.

I also created some humorous audio clips which I used for several answering machine messages. I ran across some of these recently and decided to share them. I plan to put one of them (probably pickcurl.wav or vru.wav) on my current answering machine at home (yes, for some reason I still have a home phone albeit it is VoIP). File links are provided below for your amusement or use on your own answering machine or voicemail.

pickcurl.wav – a mashup of Star Trek TNG and Curly from the Three Stooges.
timon.wav – Funny clip from a song in The Lion King
various.wav – a bunch of things thrown together
vru.wav – a ridiculous set of instructions on how to leave a message. I didn’t create this one, and I can’t remember where I found it. It is still funny today though, and I think it might be the first one I put back on my answering machine.