Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mursatron 5000: A Casey Serin Simulator - The Planning

I've been batting around a Casey Serin video game idea in my brain for a while. I decided to finally put my ideas on paper (or HTML of you prefer). Mursatron 5000: A Casey Serin Simulator will be a 2D top-down view action game. The purpose would be to get cashback at close from houses for sale, and other little loans such as from cash call, as quickly as possible. Obviously, no money will be spent on debt repayment or living expenses, save for trips to Jamba Juice and Starbucks which will speed up Casey. After a while, houses purchased will fall into foreclosure and random haterz and collectors will come after you. Haterz will simply slow you down, while having a collector catch you will make you lose the game. Eventually, I will think about putting in other powerups that will make you temporary invincible to detractors, in the vein of Packman.
The Platform:
Originally I was going to use the XNA system developed by microsoft. I ran into several technical difficulties, namely, that not only are you limited to windows, but your graphics card MUST support Directx 9! My development machine doesn't have a decent graphics card, so I couldn't even compile a test project! So I might just do it in OpenGL, so it it will run on any system. But since I'm kinda lazy, and making a multi-platform game would take forever, I might just hack into the windows drawing routines since I plan on only making a 2D game anyway.
Artwork:
I don't have much artwork at the moment, but I have some stuff in the works and will be updating this post as graphics become available.
Akubi Nacho Calico Koi Golden Koi Ruddy Koi

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Silver into Gold

In the good old days when money was actually backed by something real like gold and silver, the exchange rate from silver to gold was set to 16:1. As much as I grow a rubbery one at the thought of a gold-backed currency, such goverment tinkering resulted in some serious imbalances. To make an instant profit from arbitrage between gold and silver, one had to simply accumulate a large amount of silver money and exchange it for gold money. For a long explanation on how this worked, I refer you to this article. Now that silver, gold, and cash have been decoupled from each other, the rate of exchange between the two metals can float freely.

I have a small amount of bullion hidden away that I fondly call my "apocalypse fund", just in case really bad things happen. Now, hopefully these things will not happen, but my investment will not be in vain since bullion has beaten inflation in the past few years. What is the reason for this title? Well, I don't want to hold silver anymore for one simple reason: outside of the United States the sale of silver is subject to a VAT tax. The fact that gold is easy to carry than silver is offset by the fact that it's harder to make small purchases with gold than silver.

Now, since the silver and gold ratio vary wildly lately, and it's hard to time the market, when taking fees into consideration, the conversion ratio was about 45:1! Which means that this much silver:

converts into this much gold, plus a small hit to my credit card:

Kinda sucks, doesn't it?

EDIT 2007/6/29: My fiancée is understandably concerned that I'm revealing sensitive financial information on the internet. For those willing to come looking for my pot of gold (and a disappointingly small pot it would be), rest assured that it lays in a securely locked chest an the bottom of a well in an undisclosed location while guarded 24-7 by sharks with laser beams on their foreheads. And koi.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Casey Serin writes volume 4 of his book

Casey has done the impossible and released the fourth and hopefully last in his collection of print. May God have mercy on the soul of the poor fellow who has to read this one. (Okay guys, this was fun, but I'm seriously burnt out now, lol)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Casey Serin launches volume 3!

Casey serin has just released the third book of his chef d'oeuvre, titled "A Million Little Leases", all in the space of 24 hours! Talk about a massive focused action of late-nite business mettings!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Casey Serin releases a new book!

Casey Serin has released a new book... and it's not "The Foreclosure Code"! His new epic is entitled "House Crash": (All apologies to Neal Stephenson, author of Snow Crash)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Haterzcast on 06/22/07 cancelled: backup talkcast held instead

Poor CHJTS got into a car accident yesterday, so that night's Haterzcast was aborted. A few of use gathered together to hold a Backup Talkcast, hosted by gordonsanders. There was some Casey Serin hating there, but it was mostly about Annie discussing legal options available to Galina, in case of divorce or separation. Here it is, below:

(if the player above doesn't load, click the image below)

Powered by TalkShoe

Players: gordonsanders, Annie[?], Egosumabbas. Other players, please leave a comment so I can add you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

David Crisp: Can I have $1.8 billion too?

This may be old news to some of you, but real-estate scammer David Crisp got a $1.8 billion line of credit to start the "University Towers" project in Bakersfield, Kaleeforrneea. Astonished, I sent in a prank email to his newfound financiers Neuflithz Wisenthall & Schlumberger:

To whom it may concern:

Thank for the time in reading my email. I was wondering if my corporation could get 1.8 billion dollars in financing for a commercial project of ours. It consists of multi-pronged business campaign aimed at several markets. Real Estate does this all the time in high-rise construction: offices, condos, and retail are often located in the same building. I was considering doing the same, but on rural property. Consider the following possible uses of formerly country farmland:

1) Llama farm - llama wool sells at a premium. The llamas could also be featured in a petting zoo. Possible advertising revenue could be done with state and country fairs.
2) Wind farm - wind turbines could be installed along ridgelines on the property to maximize power generating efficiency. Some of the debt being taken on could be easily paid in the long term thanks to government subsidies.
3) Hydroelectric - small hydroelectric turbines could be installed on small streams on the property. It is a myth that only large rivers produce abundant hydroelectric power.
4) Ethanol distillation - extra switchgrass not consumed by llamas could be processed into clean-burning ethanol technology. It's been proved that switchgrass is a far more effective ethanol crop than corn, and can also be consumed readily by llamas and other grazing animals. It is also a perennial plant that does not need fertilization.

I'm sure you'll agree that this would be a wise investment. I look forward to hearing your reply. Best regards,
[Signature]

Any rational investment firm would promptly relegate my email to the spam folder and block my IP address. However, I actually got a polite reply from these fine gentlemen. I thought to myself "I think I smell a scam here". First, Mr. Crisp claims that these are "high-level financiers from Europe", and when further pressed said "Do I feel confident about this as a funding source? Yes, I do, 110 percent [...] I'm confident with people that are working on it, I'm confident that it will get done." Their reply to my email as follows:

NWS-MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
For International Investment & Financial Services
Tel.: +971-4-2236322 / Fax: +971-4-2279800 / Mob: +971-50-5443571
E-mail: nws@emirates.net.ae P.O. Box: 42556 Dubai, U.A.E. License No.: 530866
Website: http://www.neuflithzwisenthallschlumberger.com

C.C. : Credit Analysis
Pages : 6 (including this page)

RE: YOUR REQUEST FOR THE LEASING / ENHANCING OF LINES OF CREDIT UP TO € 1,800,000,000.00 (ONE BILLION EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION EURO)

Dear Mr. Nadolski,

As per Dr. Dias' instructions, annexed please find relevant documentation relating to the above mentioned subject.

Please inform us for our records how you came to know about our organisation, i.e. , personal references, Time Magazine or International Herald Tribune advertisements, Financial Press, Internet, etc.

Best regards,

NWS - Dubai Office

C.C.: NWS - London Office
[Personal information and credit request form omitted]

If they are "high-level European financiers", then why is their headquarters in Dubai? And why are they so eager so lend me money? Maybe they actually liked my business proposal. Should I take them up on their offer?

You can read more about David "It's all about image" Crisp at the Bakersfield Bubble Blog.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Casey Serin Limericks

Since IAFF has been getting a tad dull lately, with Casey Serin once again begging from his Haterz™ to help dig out of the superfund waste dump he created for himself, I have decided to repost some hilarious limericks I've come across on iamfacingforeclosure. These were all written by the poster known as "Wishful Thinker".
When he filled out the loan forms he knew
That the words he filled in were not true
Checking numbers was rare
and the banks didn't care
Now their loans have turned into poo poo
KC is today's Peter Pan
And Caseyworld is like Neverland
When reality intrudes
And darkens his mood
He says" I'll never grow up" life is grand

To read more Casey Serin limericks by "Wishful Thinker", Google can lend a hand.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why does radioshack continue to exist?

A recent failed purchase at a nearby Radioshack store made me wonder at how much life imitates art. The onion published a hilarious article entitled Even CEO Can't Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business. Read it for a good laugh, because unfortunately, the funniest material they write is firmly grounded in reality.

Here is a shining example as to why Radioshack's business model is fatally flawed. I have a computer hooked up to my HDTV that I use to play DVD's and recorded movies off my network. I wanted to improve the picture by switching from a VGA cable to DVI cable. These aren't obscure parts, even though Radioshack traditionally has been known to carry a motley assortment of electronic parts. Many of you probably recognize the cables easily from the pictures shown in the links.

There is a Radioshack close to home that is within walking distance. But just to be safe, I went on their website to verify that they have a number of DVI cables to choose from. It seemed like they had a wide variety, from the useless, overpriced Monster brand to a less overpriced in-house brand. I figured the extra expense of buying the cable in person would be made up by the convenience and speed compared to the shipping costs and waiting time of buying online.

When I went to the store one evening, the first rack near the door contained an army of overpriced monster cables. This was expected, since the markup on those monsters is monstrous, and probably reel in a hefty profit. You see, since the DVI specification is a digital signal, there is absolutely no benefit to having the higher priced monster cable. Unless there is a fundamental flaw in the cable you buy, you're better off getting the cheapest cable you can find, though I'll get more into that later. Thankfully, they had some in-house generic brand cables there too. However, not one single cable of these was a simple DVI cable. They had lots of HDMI cables, and they even had a DVI-to-HDMI converter. I could have cobbled together some kind of hack to get the DVI signal to go to an HDMI plug in my TeeVee, but the total cost would have been over $100! Frustrated, I asked the sales clerks (who were by now hovering around me like flies gravitating to a freshly laid turd) for some aid. Naturally, they guided me right back to the rack full of Monstrosity Cables, and didn't find a DVI-to-DVI cable either (no shit sherlock). I told them that they had lots of these kinds of cables online, but assured me that I was probably looking at internet only products. They then suggested I cobble together that same DVI-to-HDMI hack that I mentioned earlier. I promptly told them not to waste any more of their time and bid them adieu.

This is a picture of the clever hack I would have had to buy at Radioshack. The product on the left is the Monster DVI to HDMI adapter. That costs 34.99. The shortest Monster HDMI cable they had was 79.99. Total cost (before tax) is roughly $115.

So feeling a bit disgruntled, I decided to surf over to amazon.com, among many choices of web vendors. I searched for DVI cables, ordered it by cheapest, and found found 6 FT. DVI SINGLE LINK CABLE for the shockingly low price of $1.50 new from one of the independent sellers (Amazon's price was $7.99). Even with 4 bucks of shipping it and using the Amazon price, it was still massively affordable. Figuring there was a catch as to why it was so cheap, I did a little research. According to wikipedia's DVI article, there are two flavors of DVI: single and dual. Single supports 1920×1200 resolution compared to dual's 2560×1600. Single is therefore the cheaper of the two. Since my HDTV is 1336×768, a single link DVI cable is more than enough to satisfy my needs.

I received the product in plain packaging a few days later, and the picture on my TeeVee is crystal clear, since it's a "perfect" digital signal, far superior to the original VGA cable. All this from a product that cost less than 10 dollars.

This goes to show that the success of Radioshack is based on the ignorance of the general public to its price-gouging activities by pushing Monster products above all else. Buying Monster only makes sense when the best performance is needed: wiring expensive high-fidelity and high-wattage audio equipment over 40 feet, such as at a club or at a rock concert, using analog cables. For digital video and digital audio, the cheapest quality cable will be more than sufficent. Even if you feel compelled the highest quality goods to simply show off to your friends, you'll be better off buying your monster cable online. As more an more people are drawn to the internet, Radioshack will increasingly find fewer and fewer reasons to exist.