Monday, March 26, 2007

Mental illness is not statistical!

Cheddar looking angelicHello, creatures. (And congratulations to Jamie for finally getting to reply to that last entry, twice even!) It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood though it's been raining bunches lately. I've moved the contents of my blogs over to the new host -- 200mb space for $18 a year, and I had been using about 30mb tops with Earthlink -- and everything is coming up correctly. I still need to go wandering through the Cryptic's pages to search for broken links, but since no one reads that site (or rather, no one who bothers me about how I don't update that site seems to read this one) there's no hurry. The update to Laughter is the Spackle of the Soul was completed a couple days ago, just in time for April's rush. We haven't started in on any new home improvement projects, however a) we did get a second estimate on kitchen cabinets, confirming that $8000 is about what we can expect to pay (not counting countertops!), and b) we purchased the sink basin in anticipation of the project rather than waiting... it's really swell, it's one big porcelean-like space (we didn't want metal, we didn't want sections) that's large enough to soak a cookie sheet flatfooted. I'll be hunting for a faucet online to save some cash.

The other day the Tacoma Photo Gang, being the local clowns from Flickr and several community websites, got together on Saturday to shoot some photos on the Ruston waterfront and browse Old Town. However, Mother Nature is a bitch [that's the 10th Collerary to Murphy's Law] so it rained heavy that day. Of course, it was sunny and nice for about half of Sunday, thank you very much. The plan was to go for several miles. The result with rain was to go one block. Sure, we got some good shots, including of what appeared to be ten members of a junior high track team (proof that today's youth don't know well enough to come out of the rain), but our plans were a lot more expansive than we chose to undertake. Maybe some other time. family vacation slide I'd suggested doing the Ruston trip early in the year because from April through August there are going to be joggers and strollers and picnickers and other undesireable human life clogging the scenery. Weather verses Plans is one of the biggest stupidities in the world.

Today's public service message: There's a new phishing scheme which appeals to the unemployed and the greedy (heck, I found one today in the mailbox my account directs to). You get an email, offering you a job opportunity with a foreign company that you didn't apply for. You go to the website linked (or there's an email address to send your information to) which will hire you right on the spot, just give them your name, address, and where to deposit your paycheck. The scheme is called a "money mule" and the purpose is to get cash which has been scammed off people just like you into a neutral place (in and out of your account) so that the foreign scammers can obtain it via wire transfer. It's sort of like the African '419' scam (you get an email from a foreign dignitary, asking for your bank account info so he can stash millions of bucks in it) except instead of you only getting robbed you're helping others get robbed before it's your turn to be the victim... thus not only did you get ripped off, the authorities will come after you (you're easier to find than the bad guys!) for being part of the fraud. I can name two organizations which keep creating sites for the purpose, one using the good name of an investment firm on the East Coast and one which fabricated a nonexistant shipping firm, plus there are a few scammers that don't have websites because they just ask you to email your details. (That's faith for ya.)

Another really interesting scam, which I'm sure there's an American IRS version of: there is a forgery webpage bearing the seal of the Australian Taxation Office, which asks what bank account you (an Ozzie) want your refund deposited into. Very ingenious! The longer I work in the Internet fraud biz, the more amazed I am by it.

Jamie Dawn said:

(My blog automatically runs through a proxy, and I think that may be why I am usually unable to comment at your blog. I have problems on one other blog besides yours.)

Great photo of your cat, Cheddar.
Those scams really are clever. I'm sure that old people are really susceptible to those things, but if people aren't vigilante, I'm sure anyone could fall for a scam.
I recently received a religious scam letter in the mail. I took photos of it so I can do a post on it one of these days. It made me so angry because I know my dear Gramillo would have fallen for such a scam. It made you feel like you were missing out on a blessing from God if you didn't comply.
I hope the weather is compliant next time you and your photos group
plan an event.
Proxy: Yes, that could be it. The usual culprit is pop-up blockers, or other 'helpful' applications.

Yes, old people are susceptible to those scams, but pretty much anyone can fall for them. It's just so sad to me on those occasions I come across a poorly-constructed scam site where I can read the credit card info accumulation files... for every 2 to 20 people who know it's a scam and are vocal about it, there's one set of real information.

Only God offers blessings from God. Last I looked, He didn't operate through pity emails which demanded earthly cash.

I too hope the weather is compliant on the next shoot... heck, I hope it's compliant right now because I was supposed to mow the lawn and it's been raining on and off all weekend.
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