We’re Back!

Our hosting expired and we finally made the long-planned but suddenly urgent move to a new host.

I filtered through twelve years of blog posts from our archives and re-uploaded the ones I considered the most telling or entertaining. The rest are just saved locally. Unliked numerous times prior, I’m not going to make any promises of new content. What happens, happens. At the moment there are still quite a few broken links. I’ll fix them shortly, or just remove the links.

Luceo Revisited

Two posts in the same year? I know! It hasn’t happened in four years. In fact, we didn’t have any posts at all in those dark years.

I once again got a burst of inspiration. I’m not going to pretend that I’m updating every page on the site, but I did create a brand new design, using the latest HTML5 and design standards, and I applied it to the most popular articles on the site. So there are now different layouts for pages created by WordPress (such as this one, and all blog posts), and two distinct layouts for pages I coded myself. If you know where to look on the server there’s actually remnants of a lot more.

This year is the eleventh anniversary of Luceo Magazine, and it’s been a painfully slow death. At the very bottom of this page, as of right now, there’s a picture of some random man. I have no idea who he is, but I assume he designed this blog template. I need to find something new. Embarrassingly, I’ve been meaning to replace the unknown and unaffiliated man for a full six months. Here at Luceo Magazine we aim low, and we often miss even that. On a related note, today’s vocabulary word is sardonic.

Fake Civil War Love Letters

One day, in a moment of inspiration (read: “boredom”), I decided to write a pair of Civil War love letters. I think they’re historically accurate, for the most part, aside from the fact that they have perfect grammar and spelling. These are best read aloud, in your most Southern of voices; try to channel a Georgia-plantation resident.

To my Darling Annabelle,

The days drag on without you by my side. I long to rejoin you in our charming town. Life on the front is hard, and though I try, it’s difficult to keep hope. Just yesterday my good friend, James, was hit by a bullet. He’s alive, for now, but delirious with fever and the doctors do not expect him to last the night. Food, as always, is scarce, and scarcely edible. The bread has more maggots than flour. But enough of that! My love for you can carry me through my darkest hour, a shining torch to guide me safely back to your warm embrace.

This war will surely soon be over, and I will be home again. Until then, I count the seconds we’re apart and remain faithfully yours!

All My Love, John


To My Dearest John,

Your letters are like kisses from the Sun, warming my heart in these coldest and most trying of times. I clutch them to my bosom as if they were your very being. Father has taken ill, but seems to be recovering well. I do hope he is better by winter. I am sorry to hear about your friend, James.

Lydia is to have the baby any day now. It will be grand to be an aunt!

My heart fears for you. The front is so very dangerous and I worry. Please, come back home to me safe. Write back soon.

Forever Yours, Annabelle

Mourning a Fallen Victim and Loathing the Survivors, in the Condiment Aisle

Years ago I discovered a wonderful new product, Kraft Miracle Whip Hot’N Spicy. It added kick to otherwise bland ham sandwiches. And life was good.

Then one day the grocery store was out. In desperation, I decided to substitute a bottle of Kraft Mayo Hot’N Spicy. I mean, how different can they be, right?

In transpired, very different. And not different like blue is different from red; more like cake is different from feces. In short, I threw that nasty bottle away after one ruined sandwich. I’ve managed to survive on regular Miracle Whip, but I still long for its rebellious cousin. Every time I go grocery shopping I walk by the condiment section, casting a hopeful glance at the Miracle Whip bottles, longing for the Hot’N Spicy. Sure, maybe it’s poorly named, but it was a glorious product.

In my quest to find it, I searched various stores, and asked friends to look at stores I never shop at. I even looked online. Alas, it seems to be discontinued. And so I used a form on Kraft’s site to inquire about it. Perhaps it was not truly gone for good? I didn’t even get a response.

My resolve has been tested, but I’m still holding out for a reversal. If Futurama can come back after years of absence, then so too can Miracle Whip Hot’N Spicy.

Now That’s What I Call a Bad Idea: Volume 2

This is the “long-awaited” second list of bad ideas from waaaaay back when. Enjoy.

  • Fire-Retardant Charcoal Briquets
  • Collapsible Cribs—Save space! Warning: may crush baby
  • Rocket-Powered Big Wheel
  • Head Cheese
  • Sharpie Brand 44 Magnum Marker in 5 new scents!
  • KidsCo Little Tyke “Junior Home Smelting Kit”
  • Anything directed by Uwe Boll
  • Do-it-Yourself Breast Implants
  • Single Use Dentures—Never Brush again!
  • Gasoline-Powered Wireless Phone—40 minutes to the gallon!
  • “Tuna-Safe” Dolphin Jerky—Now in Teriyaki Style!
  • Sony Blu-Ray/Betamax/MiniDisc combo player
  • The Dust Brothers “Unplugged”—Only on VH1!
  • Titanic II: Back from Davy Jones’s Locker!
  • Pack-a-Potty-in-a-Purse

The Dr Pepper Tower

As many of our friends and family know, my brother and I love Dr Pepper. Yes, we drink other things too, but the DP dominates our beverage intake. When we go grocery shopping, we buy six, nine, or twelve twelve-packs of the stuff. For several months now, we have not bothered to throw away our “fridge packs.” It started off innocently enough; we just left a few at the top of the stairs that leads down to the garage. Trash always goes out through the garage anyway, so it seemed natural. However, we somehow never got around to throwing the things away. And so the pile grew.

We made plans to throw them away, but it just didn’t happen. It got to the point that I didn’t want to throw it away. I wanted to take a picture to commemorate the auspicious achievement. Indeed, we even took some pictures; but the stack continued to grow. It took on a life of its own, reaching to the ceiling in not just one row, but another. Soon its powers grew further. It attracted other wayward boxes. Fortunately, our slovenly secret was hidden from the view of guests by a door.

With its height came arrogance. It thought itself capable of overpowering its creators. Alas, that hubris was defeated by nothing more than air.

As I sat in my room, I heard an unusual cacophony, lasting no more than a couple of seconds. Fireworks? Perhaps a bizarre bit of thunder? I go to my door to ask Chad; his look is grave. He had opened the door leading to the garage to see if he had forgotten to turn off the light. When he closed the door, the rush of wind knocked down a portion of the tower.

Realizing the time had come, we knocked down the rest, flooding the bottom of the stairwell with a sea of red boxes. We don’t have an exact count, but the total is somewhere around 50 boxes, which represent 600 delicious cans of Dr Pepper. We then sat on the stairs and folded up all of the boxes. We ended up stuffing the folded boxes into intact boxes, six in all, which are now sitting neatly outside our garage awaiting pick-up tomorrow morning.

Now That’s What I Call a Bad Idea: Volume 1

This is the first in a series of lists. Enjoy.

  • Trying to catch scissors in your mouth
  • Gluing your lips together
  • Sending threatening messages to the president
  • Pearl Harbor II: Onward to Korea!
  • Frosted Flakes: now with free ninja kit, complete with two throwing stars
  • Telling your wife what you really think of her mother
  • Cybernetic ass implants with auto-jiggle
  • Breaking up with someone by changing your MySpace relationship status (true story!)
  • Revolving toothbrush holder
  • Midget/Elephantitis porn
  • Nuclear go-cart
  • Gold-miner’s milk: now with potassium cyanide
  • Keep out Old Man Winter with an Old Navy Asbestos pullover!
  • Pearl Harbor III: Peace in the Middle East

Extreme

Extreme Meat! On one of our eXtremely frequent trips to our local Wal-Mart I was perusing the breakfast goods and I came across the fantastical Jimmy Dean brand croissant breafast sandwich. The delectable delight comes jam packed with sausage AND bacon plus some egg and cheese slapped on top. Not too crazy other than it now comes with “New! Extreme Meat!.” One wonders what makes said meat so extreme, but in the name of science I decided I must sample this meat of extremity! Turns out it’s pretty good, however it did go “extreme!” on my ulcer. I was in pain for the majority of the day, so this fiendish meat is not for the faint of stomach. Now! gaze upon the master of all breakast sandwiches and cower in fear!!

Odd Search Strings

People find Luceo in a variety of ways. We obsessively check our referrer logs to see where exactly people come from. If a person comes from a search site, we are generally able to see the phrase they used to find us. The top search strings don’t change much. I know there will be stuff related to the Spanish-American War and also college advice. Occasionally, however, some truly bizarre stuff manages to creep in.

We have received thus far this month five hits from people searching for “sleazy clothes.” At this moment, Luceo holds Google’s #3 and #4 positions for that phrase. Furthermore, we have four referrers for “hilary duff’s address.” We currently hold third place on Google for it.

Worst Credit Card Offer Ever

Before I give you the details of my First Premier Bank Gold MasterCard offer, I must first offer a little background. Shortly after I turned 18, I applied for and received a Platinum Visa from the good people at CapitalOne. I pay absolutely no fees and since I never carry a balance, I actually end up costing them money. At the beginning of every month I get an email telling me my account is ready. I click on the link and a few clicks later authorize an electronic debit out of my checking account (I do not actually have wretched checks).

A couple of months ago I got the this offer from First Premier and laughed heartily. Now, I pass on the fun to you.

The annual percentage rate is 9.9%, a not great but respectable rate. It is the fees that add up.

There is a one-time $29 account set up fee. Then there is another one-time $95 program fee (presumably for the privilege of paying their other fees). To that they add a $48 annual fee. Please don’t think this is a participation fee, however; that is an additional $72 per year. What’s the difference? Don’t ask me.

If you want a second card for a family member that will cost you another $20 annually. Should you desire to look at your account online, you must pay a one-time fee of $3.95. Don’t be confused into the erroneous belief that being able to look at your account includes the ability to pay it, though. If you want that, you must pay a separate “autodraft” payment of $7 each time (or $11 through their non-automated procedures).

Each time your credit limit is increased (the disclosure makes no mention of a requirement for your authorization), you will be assessed a $25 fee. One wonders how many nickel and dime bumps they like to generously give.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must also note a few more fees. Rush delivery of that lightweight piece of plastic (available only for lost, stolen or replacement cards) costs $25. There is also a $25 charge if you pay late or go over your limit.

If you start out with the minimum credit limit of $250, your initial limit will be $72 after all of the fees (or $52 if you opt for another card).

The best part about this offer is that I don’t even qualify; I don’t make the required $10,000 minimum annual income.