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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not So New Scam - Jury Duty

Some people must lie awake nights thinking of new ways to defraud honest folk.

My San Francisco buddy "L" just forwarded this to me. The Snopes warning was issued in 2005 the FBI warning in 2006. It's been around for awhile but it's legit.

From the FBI warning:

The phone rings, you pick it up, and the caller identifies himself as an officer of the court. He says you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant is out for your arrest. You say you never received a notice. To clear it up, the caller says he'll need some information for "verification purposes"-your birth date, social security number, maybe even a credit card number.

This is when you should hang up the phone. It's a scam.


Of course it is. The caller now has all your personal info and will steal your identity. The Court will not call you. They will send you a letter, on their letterhead which you can verify with a phone call.

In other news, not much. I spoke to the girls the other day (two of them at least) and they seem to be doing well. Rebecca was grounded but that's nothing new. Rochelle enjoyed her birthday.

We've had rain and wind, and a small city a couple of counties to the south of us even had a small tornado. It seems like they always head for the trailer parks and this one was no exception. It was strong enough to remove some roofs (rooves?) and knock down a few trees but no injuries.

Why is the plural of hoof hooves but I think I was right the first time about roof. I wonder how people who were not born to this language ever learn it.

Enough of that. Life continues uneventfully around here. One of my coffee date friends is leaving for NYC and then Israel later in the week and will be gone until late February. I'll be watching the news from there closely. On the other hand, my friend Dave who's been traveling around the country for a year will return in a couple of weeks. I've been following his journey on his blog ever since he began and occasionally wish I'd stowed away. He's safely in Southern California so now all he has to do is navigate the next 8 hours and hope most of our snow will have left by the time he heads for home.

He emailed me to ask if I was interested in coffee. Of course I am. We have a lot to catch up on and email isn't quite the same as sitting in Barnes & Noble chatting back and forth.

Son Jim, currently on the Mexican border with the National Guard, may be heading for Iraq. It's up in the air. He was scheduled a couple of years ago but an old, service incurred back injury kept him here at the last minute. Now they can't quite make up their minds (at least the last I heard).

Son Tim and I are planning on a trip north to meet one of my blogging friends in late February. Her sister is directing a performance of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" (in Concord at the Willows Theatre for any of you who are familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area). It should be fun. I know the film but I've never seen the live production although Tim has. And it will be wonderful to meet yet another blogging friend and one I've felt a very special link with.

We'll go down on the train early Friday the 22nd, spend the night, and come back sometime Saturday. I am so looking forward to it. We probably won't leave terribly early Saturday so if anyone's in that area and wants to try for a coffee date, we're up for it. My phone # is on the bottom of my emails.

Thanks to all of you for the comments. Sorry I haven't posted more but, as I was saying to an online friend, I wonder how interesting it can be to read about, the weather or the roast I prepared the other day and the salmon loaf from yesterday (turned out real well - one of the few things for which I had to google a recipe). Mine had always turned out a little dry in the past - this one was okay.

Or it may be just the wintertime blahs.

Have a good weekend and take care everyone. Perhaps I will finally update the blogroll again. It's not too out of date but I can think of a couple of friends I've missed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Scam

It's early morning and I have CNN (our biggest cable news channel for those of you outside the USA) on while I was reading email. I wish I'd been recording but I wasn't so this is what I remember of what they said.

Details are sketchy but apparently bank customers in our Midwest are receiving cell phone messages (text?) telling them their account has expired. To renew it they must log on to some web site.

When they do, all their banking info is captured.

I'm sure none of us would fall for it but whenever I see these things, I like to pass the word along. We're all accustomed to internet scams by now; apparently the cell phone gimmick is something new.

Still cold and damp here.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our Weather Can't Make a Simple Decision

Day before yesterday was springlike in the afternoon. Yesterday started out foggy and stayed cold most of the day. Today, more of the same but it warmed up a little. Tonight? Just above freezing. By Monday, we'll be blessed with a little more rain.

The rain and our one or two days of early spring caused yellow flowers to blossom in my yard. I have no clue what they are. I know they're weeds but I'm leaving them for now. They are bright and pretty. I found some toadstools as well. (For any of you who don't know what a toadstool is, it's an inedible mushroom that grows wild). We've also attracted a gathering of small birds. About the size and shape of a sparrow but yellow breasted. The cat stares out the window from her spot on the computer in fascination. We've always had a few birds but these are closer to a flock. The cold doesn't seem to bother them nor does the hard ground. They just keep pecking away. (Janice, you have any idea what they might be? You probably have them too). They're so cute and singleminded. It's all about food for them.

I spent the early part of the week taking down the tiny tree and wrapping my Christmas decorations while unwrapping the bell collection, etc. to go back on display. This time around, I found room for all my non-Christmas bells although they're rather crowded.

I have washed all the linen, area rugs, small blankets and afghans, rearranged the kitchen once again as well as my pantries and a couple of the cupboards. Oh, and I cleaned all the drip trays on the stove. Not my dirt, it was there when I bought the stove but I was too frazzled then to notice. They're much better now.

And I made a fair sized pan of lasagna. We're eating the last of it tonight, Tomorrow I'll start cooking again; probably a pot roast or stew in the crock pot. And biscuits? I'm used to my oven by now so probably.

It's great to be feeling a little more human. Ray's pretty much over his cold as well.

I stopped by Barnes & Noble on Saturday afternoon to treat my friends and their little girl to a hot drink and so Destiny could shop with her gift certificate (my Christmas present to her). I was reading and waiting when this voice behind me said "what are you doing here". It was number one son, home on an unexpected long weekend off. He has a friend that lives about 60 miles further north and they've been sharing expenses and riding together. I think there are 4 soldiers all in this same general area so they all get to come home more often. It was good to see him; even briefly.

This morning I went out for my usual Tuesday coffee date with friend Janet (postponed to Wednesday). We always have a great time.

I came home and started reading blogs. Unless some of you were removed (not by me of course) from Bloglines, I'm caught up (although I may not have commented on all). My eyes are finally behaving. I couldn't read for more than few minutes with that darn cold.

I haven't heard from the girls since the first week in January. It's the longest they've gone between calls. I'm not exactly worried but it would be good to hear from them. Hoping it's just because they started back to school and are very busy.

Thanks to all of you who surfaced on Delurking Day (or week) and to all my other faithful friends who've stuck with me for so long.

Take care everyone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Show Yourselves Please (Figuratively I Mean)

It doesn't seem to have received much notice this year but I was just informed by my friend Chris over at Rude Cactus (the same one who's so attached to Haiku) that tomorrow is Delurking Day. He would like to not be the only one participating. Usually it's well publicized - I don't know why this year was such a well kept secret.

What's that, you may ask? It's a request to those of you who read but don't leave comments to drop by and say hi. Tell me a little about yourselves if you wish.

Or you can just ignore it and keep on lurking. I read several blogs without ever leaving a comment. That makes me a sometimes lurker too.

I've done Delurking for the last couple of years and met some very nice people that way. I know from my site meter I have visitors I've never met.

Hope to meet a few of you tomorrow or the next day or the next. There's not really a time limit.

This One Is Real

I've received a couple of emails from a site called lately. I didn't recognize it so deleted. I received another the next day. My local friend, Janet, sent this to me today from Spam Huntress

I couldn't find a Snopes listing but it looks real enough to me.

================ turns into fanbox

When I got the second e-mail from someone I didn’t immediately recognize, inviting me to answer a question at fanbox, I thought it was one of those irritating invitations from some application I haven’t installed at Facebook.

But when I got the second identical e-mail, I got irritated enough to check it out.

Turns out it’s from, which is a new incarnation of, which I’ve blogged about before: abuse continues to send invitations

By now it’s not visibly centered around text messages (which to me looked like a scam that would quickly result in huge cell phone bills if you were unlucky), but rather a desktop application.

But I kinda doubt this person I got the e-mail from actually tried to send me a question. I might find out, because I’ve figured out the e-mail address (which isn’t in the e-mail from fanbox).

I think the same caution goes now that it did before: Do NOT give them the password to your webmail account, if you decide to join. Because they’ll spam your friends to death, and they’ll get angry with YOU for it!

Come to think of it, they’ll most likely get your webmail password no matter what, because this is a desktop application! The point is storing important documents, mail and passwords (presumably, I haven’t actually tried it, but it’s what I’d want to use a desktop app for, if I found one I trusted). Geez, I would NOT trust them enough to use them as a desktop app, based on their history!

Wait, I forgot to include the actual letter I received:

xxxxxsomeoneyoumayormaynotknowxxxx asked you a question. View the question and answer it. is the web-based desktop that instantly turns every computer into your computer. It includes over 10,000 web applications and games to choose from, including the Question It application.

This email was sent by xxxxxsomeoneyoumayormaynotknowxxxx while using the Question It application on FanBox. Go here to learn more or stop receiving emails from friends using Question It. FanBox: 255 G Street #723, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

Update: I heard back from the person who supposedly sent those messages. She said she’d gotten starting yesterday too, and didn’t know why. But I also found I’d gotten another message, supposedly from her, and this time to a Yahoo groups listowner address. She’s on AOL, and I’m guessing she has a setting adding all senders of e-mails she receives to her address book automatically.

17 Responses to “ turns into fanbox”

  1. Steven Burn Says:

    Cheers for the heads up …….. I actually wrote about back in 2005. Stupidly thought they’d have “gotten it” by now :(

Monday, January 07, 2008

Trying My Hand at Haiku (and Happy Birthday to Rochelle)

Football ad nauseam
Sniffling and sneezing continue
Cold rain drizzles down


Ann, for heaven's sake, don't quit your day job. I wrote that on a friend's blog (Rude Cactus) who'd asked us to describe our weekend in Haiku form. He may already regret his request.

Ray is still sleeping, the cat is perched above my head, it's not quite 7:00 a.m. and I'm expecting my friend Dawn in about 20 minutes.

Our colds seem to be winding down. Mine was worse than Ray's but I worry more about him. For me, it's just a week of misery - his could have been more serious. Somehow I managed to do the first of the month shopping but I canceled almost everything else including, for the most part, even trying to read posts. Everything ached, including my eyes.

The storms which struck California last week did no real damage here. We had quite a bit of rain but no flooding, wind but nothing blown away, and one extremely brief power outage. Other communities, including Fresno just 60 miles south, weren't so lucky. I'm concerned about my San Francisco area friends as well as some in Southern California.

I've been cooking comfort food - my solution to everything. I made a big pot of clam chowder on Friday; by Saturday it was history. Yesterday, we had grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and applesauce. Oh, and pancakes, eggs and tangerines for breakfast. Today, I think I'll reheat the leftover oatmeal for breakfast with English muffins and throw together a meatloaf for dinner. Probably mashed potatoes and some kind of veggie and fruit. I try to cook double batches of most things; partly to save on utilities and partly to save my own energy. Many things taste better the second day anyhow.

Rochelle turned 13 on the 5th of January. She's a teen!! Happy, happy birthday to my sweet girl. Rebecca will be 13 on Halloween and Elcie will be 15 in March. I know that just yesterday they were all babies.

Thanks to all of you for the comments and the concern. My eyes are finally focusing somewhat so perhaps I can get around to reading and commenting on some posts. I think I have something like 1500 entries on Bloglines I haven't seen. (Not all are friend's posts; some are news, etc. but it's still a little overwhelming).

Take care everyone.