December 23, 2009

HP Computers are Racist

So, working for the kgb_ is pretty fun but the pay should definitely be better. The test and certifications were so much more challenging than actually using the system. The most difficult part is really only answering questions concerning cars and sports - two subjects I know very little about. Luckily I make up for it by being able to answer questions about cats, gearing a Frost Mage, the origins of Christmas, and how to find the Blue Switch Palace.

Oh and btw, HP Computers are RACIST!

December 5, 2009

Santa, SNOW, and Chocolate

So after seeing the Santa spectacle last night I woke up this morning to see something interesting on the weather report:


Lol, whatever. Just one little flake? I can deal with that.

It drizzled rain all day as I worked on some stuff online at the museum. Some people signed up for a tour and we figured even though we don't usually do tours in December I would bring them out. And - as if on cue - it starts snowing right when the tour begins! I felt bad for the people but we had fun anyways!

Afterwards I wanted some hot chocolate so I went into Maria's Sweet Somethings[their website], a local chocolate shop and they had a chocolate fountain set up! I had only ever seen one on TV before so it was pretty amazing and I probably embarrassed myself a little with the amount I ate.

And some really good news!!! Sara is filing her immigration stuff on Wednesday and that means she can work in a month and will be a legal resident in 3-6 months! FINALLY!

December 4, 2009

Flying Santa Off of Buildings???

Bah! All humbug!

Santa Stock Photo

Ok, I admit I am a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas, but the reason I hate Christmas is the same reason I love Halloween. It has lost it's true meaning and become all spectacle. So maybe I should try to look at things differently this year. Do what I do on Halloween and not allow myself to be distracted by the glitter and commercialism.

I am beginning by attending ridiculious Christmas events with my wife. The first event we are attending is Santa's arrival at the Hawthorne hotel. I have heard about this and I don't know how many years they've been doing it, but I have never seen it. I have been PROMISED a *FLYING* Santa. Don't ask me how they do it. From : "Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with music on The Common where we will be on the lookout for Santa’s arrival. Following tradition, Santa will descend from the Hawthorne Hotel (around 6:00 p.m.) and, with the help of his elves, distribute candy to the children."

I know I can't just mention this. Video will follow!

Next event is a Dickensian Christmas party. Any excuse to wear my tophat. :)

December 3, 2009

Off-season Work

[originally posted Dec. 1, 2009]

Well last night was the last tour of the season. Now I have to concentrate on finding more part-time work.

Between doing online work for the company, my new job as a _kgb Special Agent, and (hopefully) seasonal work at a retail store at the mall I should be able to survive through the winter. I know it is usually the type of job a teenager would have, but I think working at the video game store would be awesome - especially considering my age and experience would set me apart from the other employees. I mean, how often is a well-adjusted and socially normal adult man also a video game nerd? ...And if they are it's usually video games about shooting people, whereas I like the ultra nerdy RPGs and Nintendo stuff. I would be the perfect person to help people pick out games for their kids or whatever. For real. Also I'd get discounts on games!!!!!!

Also, I keep forgetting to mention my new Youtube Channel. I want to make it all videos about different aspects of Salem. So far it's some clips of historic stuff in the cemeteries, halloween, and witchcraft. I want to start taping a lot of public events to put up there and also people talking about more history. It's a very promising project.

Although it's important to note that one of the most popular videos I've uploaded has *nothing* to do with Salem - it's Mollie's new akita puppy playing in her yard. LOL

Here's a video I made of Mollie talking about weird symbols on graves:

Dishonest Local Tourist Businesses

[originally posted Sept. 29, 2009]

So many businesses in Salem operate on hype alone.

Create a fancy looking product and sell ad-space on it. Create an event that no one really comes to and make money off charging vendors.

The products and events themselves are not successful. It's people trying to ride the coat-tails of a successful-looking business model and throwing all their money into it that make all the money for these greedy and manipulative entrepreneurs.

People see a snazzy image and think "If I stand next to this guy his fame will spill over onto me," but that is NOT the case. The fame and glamor is all an image.

As far as employees, these places have very high turnover rates because the people working for them get no business and don't make enough money, but the companies still exist. How? By selling ad-space and vendor space on the side! So, essentially, the people who are out there doing the REAL working are walking unpaid billboards and the management and owners are making all the money off people who want to slap their name on everything.

The City of Brotherly Love

[originally posted Sept. 21, 2009]

Philadelphia is like if Boston and Manhattan had some babies and it was the rebellious one.

They actually passed an ordinance at some point that a percentage of any new constructions cost's must go to public art, so there are murals all over the place and a lot of odd contemporary pieces scattered throughout the city.

We got vegetarian Philly cheese-steaks, saw LOVE park, went to the art museum (yeah yeah, the place where rocky ran up the steps, but you know the place is full of art, too!), saw the Star Trek exhibit a 3D movie and a planetarium show at the Ben Franklin Institute science museum, got grossed out at the Mutter Museum of medical oddities, took a duck tour, saw city hall (huge beautiful ornate sculptures and architecture), took a tour of Independence Hall where American independence began, did some ghost hunting while learning about the history inside the Penn State Penitentiary (as we were leaving we saw the van from the tv show Ghost Hunters showing up! Bastards!), went to a punk rock bar and got vegetarian BLTs, I could go on and on...

It was amazing. People there are so much nicer than in Boston or Manhattan, too. Maybe I was just in a really good mood but it seemed that way.

We barely slept and just ran around doing so many things that we completely exhausted ourselves to the point where we were both dragging ourselves down the street just to go do one last thing... We took over 900 pictures.

We got home to find that our friend who was house-sitting stole a bunch of video games and DVDs. Ends up he isn't prescribed to the pills he's been taking all the time and actually has a problem. What a great thing to come home to.

Reality TV Attacks Salem

[originally posted Sept. 11, 2009]

As being a tour guide is not a stable job through the winter I often check online job listings. On craigslist the other day was an ad looking for people to act as tourists for a reality tv show from Canada called "Chris and John to the Rescue!" It's a show on an LGBT Canadian television network called OUTtv. I responded and was told to meet them downtown, but they didn't mention what time.

I went downtown and asked around. Someone said there was a film crew down at Old Town Hall, but when I got there it was "What Not to Wear". What a weird coincidence. They had ambushed a local witch with the help of her significant other and friends and surprised her with a makeover and trip to NYC. She really doesn't need a makeover and the guy who I think was her husband said "she's going to kill me, they're going to turn her into a soccer mom!" lol

After watching them film for a while I went to check my email and the people from the other show had responded. We met them a little while later down at the visitor's center.

The episode of the show was about four contestants competing over who gets the title of "Halloween Superstar" by competing in different ways. We got to sit in the trolly while each of the contestants acted as tour guides. None of them were really good tour guides, but it was wicked funny. One contestant was a crossdesser wearing a little mermaid costume who identified as "Ariel's older, and much more attractive sister, Arrianna."

It was funny watching the camera guys trying to film and almost falling over as we were driving around.

We were also invited to a Halloween party this Saturday where they will crown the winner.

I posted a bunch of pictures and even some video on my Facebook if you want to check them out!

Local Businesses Conspiracy and Controversy

[originally posted April 23rd 2009 on]

Well, I thought Mollie was paranoid when she said that her competitors wrote fake reviews online about her, but now that I'm managing online promotions for the company I can see some sketchy things are definitely going on.

Someone kept editing the description of our tours on a particular review site page and I did a quick Google search of the name to see if it was a competitor. The name was that of a minor historic figure from New England during pre-revolutionary times with some numbers added onto it. One of the pages that came up was for a tour company in Boston where the guides assume the roles of historic figures. Was I on to something?

When I found the name it was right next to a picture of the new guy in town. This guy used to work in Boston but now he's in Salem and I see him almost every day trolling the streets like a pimp trying to rope in tourists. It was true! Not only was this guy going out of his way to mess with Mollie's page, but I even found places where he wrote reviews for his own tours using the same screen name, AND one of those reviews was copied and pasted word for word and posted on another review site under a different name claiming to be a woman from Pennsylvania! It's all clear as day.

I took screencaps just in case he deletes anything. I don't know what to do with this information... This IS the type of gossipy, catty, BS, the local media *loves* to cover this time of year...

So far I can only prove that he edited our page and wrote fake positive reviews for himself. I still have no proof that he ever wrote - or had anyone else write - any fake reviews about us...

But either way, damning evidence! The guy must not know anything about computers to think he can get away with this kind of thing.

The best part is that the review goes on and on about how awesome the tour guide is. He is refering to himself. To imagine his ego is this big that he describes himself in such a way - just hysterical. Delusions of grandeur.

Here's a comparison of the two reviews from two different review sites with the two different names ...screencaps with all the names and stuff blacked out. One is cut and pasted and circled in red. You can see the other stuff i added is in red as well.

I mean, here is a grown man out there playing petty games on the internet and, when talking about himself says such things as.... well... just see for yourself. (You have to click the picture to see the whole thing. Don't worry, it's just Photobucket)

Fake review comparison CENSORED

[EDIT: A few people were asking so I guess I should clarify that I decided not to actively try to make this info public. I never ended up sending anything to the City Counsel or any news papers, but I figure putting it on my blog and mocking the guy would be fun. I have decided to keep everything secret and word stuff in a way that people can't really tell who he is though - just to be nice. :) ]