WOW #47

Telephone

The Word Of this Week is a word that we all know – or should; it’s

Phishing

Phishing Trip

Ring……..ring……..ring……..
Son – Hello
……..(one second……..(two seconds)……..(three seconds)……..(four seconds) click
(Boiler room – 50 voices in background)
Strike one!
Paki – Hellooo….is this Mr. J. Smith?
Phone is in the wife’s name – Mrs. J. Smith
Strike two!
Son – Yes
Paki – This is the security Department of Visa (Sure it is 😛 )
There are three credit cards in the house, and they are all MasterCards
Strike Three!
Paki – There has been suspicious activity on your Visa card. A few minutes ago, there was a $600 transfer to Western Union. That is often a sign of online fraud. Did you make that transfer?
Son – What are the last four digits you have on that card?
……..Click Yerrr Out!

Sorry! The suckers aren’t biting today – and tell your cousin, the Prince of Nigeria, to stop sending us those get-rich-quick emails.

Remember, folks – TANSTAAFLThere Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – and there’s always someone ready to try to take away a lunch that you’ve already paid for.

Be alert!!
We need all the Lerts we can get. 😉

You’ve been selected to receive money – Sure you have

You’ve won a prize – in a contest you don’t remember entering

Buy a ticket for this foreign lottery – they just change your dollars to rials before they steal them

You’ll get a bonus or gift if you buy now – see TANSTAAFL

They aggressively claim that you owe money on your taxes – no civilized country’s tax department would approach you in this way, or demand payment in prepaid iTunes cards 🙄

The phone rings once, then hangs up – if you have call-display, do not call an unfamiliar number back. It will direct you to a pay-per-minute site

They say that you’ve been the victim of a fraud (see above) – they’re just after your banking information

They offer to fix your computer – they will download all your financial information

They’re selling an extended warranty on your car – talk to your dealer, face-to-face, rather than some unknown on the phone

They won’t answer your questions (see above) – don’t let them deflect or refuse. They have all the answers…. until you ask an inconvenient question

They’re collecting for a charity you’ve never heard of – then why would you donate?? Real charities don’t demand your credit card number over the phone.

They threaten to have you arrested – There are laws which prevent governments and organizations – even collection agencies – from doing this. Just hang up

They want personal information, like Social Security numbers – for identity theft and fraud. If they called you, never give it out.

They’re collecting a debt you don’t remember – you have the right to a mailed copy of any claim. Demand one!

They claim to have kidnapped someone you know – Some scammers now use social media to find the names and whereabouts of your friends and family members, and use that information to impersonate kidnappers and demand ransom money. It may sound terrifying, but it’s most often fake. Definitely don’t pay them anything. Instead, contact your friend or relative immediately, and report the call to the FTC/CRTC or the police.

They want you to invest in something – Unless it’s someone you know, they get no dough!

They just want to confirm your debit or credit card number – this is the fastest way to get defrauded

They want you to make an immediate decision – even if it’s something you want, pressure = fraud. Hang up and do your own research.

The call looks like it’s coming from your own phone – hackers claim that they’re from the phone company, and just want you to verify those magic numbers. Don’t do it!

They’re too friendly – It’s nice to talk to nice people….until they steal you blind. Beware of unknown callers who seem really, Really friendly.

It’s a jungle out there. Keep your eyes on your fries – and your wallet, and online data. 😳

I Know That I Promised

Island

I know that I promised, and I know that most of you have read about it, but this story was just too precious, not to comment on.

American Is Killed by Bow and Arrow on Remote Indian Island

John Allen Chau had to know that what he was about to do was extremely dangerous.

Mr. Chau, thought to be in his 20s, was floating in a kayak off a remote island in the Andaman Sea. He was about to set foot on one of the most sealed-off parts of India, an island inhabited by a small, highly enigmatic tribe whose members have killed outsiders for simply stepping on their shore.

Fishermen warned him not to go. Few outsiders had ever been there. Indian government regulations clearly prohibited any interaction with people on the island, called North Sentinel.

While I was reading this story, I wondered what this guy was – some sort of super-jock survivalist, out to prove that he had was the biggest dick??! Then came the punch line.

But Mr. Chau pushed ahead in his kayak, which he had packed with a Bible. After that, it is a bit of a mystery what happened. On Wednesday, the Indian authorities said that Mr. Chau had been shot with bows and arrows by tribesmen when he got on shore. It was a “misplaced adventure,’’ said Dependra Pathak, the police chief.

No, it wasn’t!! There is no mystery. This was not “an adventure.” This self-made martyr was an unwelcome Christian missionary, too arrogant and stupid to stay out of harm’s way. The article doesn’t say if he was a Jehovah’s Witness, but apparently there are even some Indian people who don’t like telemarketers. 😯

He violated the laws of India, which clearly forbid him from interfering with the natives. He violated the rules of his own missionary group, who urged him not to go, and he disobeyed Christ’s own Biblical directives. Jesus said to go by twos, to spread the word. Christ obviously knew the need for backup, but Chau insisted on going alone – probably because he couldn’t find anyone else crazy enough to go with him.

Christ said, “If you offer the word to a people, and they refuse it, depart from that place and leave them.” Chau swam ashore one day, and the natives shot arrows at him, obviously not willing to accept him (or Him) and The Word. The only arrow to hit, struck his Bible. He believed that God had spared him. Instead of departing from that place, he swam back out to the fish boat, but returned the next day.

He is apparently unmarried and childless, so he qualifies for the Darwin Award. He’s not your usual, testosterone-infused gym-jock. He is was something even worse – A faith-infused Jesus-Jock. At least he managed to kill only himself.

I repeat from my post, “What’s wrong with a comfortable delusion?” Because, not every time, but ultimately, and inevitably, it leads to the likes of:

Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre – 918 good Christians dead.
Uganda, Nov. 2018 – more than 918 black Christian sect suicide deaths
David Koresh and the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco – 75 faithful and 4 FBI agents dead
Heaven’s Gate cult mutilation and suicides – 39 dead
Solar Temple Order – 74 dead in Quebec, France, and Switzerland
South Korean ‘Benevolent Mother’ sect – 32 poisoned and strangled

And these are just the recent, penny-ante examples. How about the Inquisition, where thousands were horribly tortured and executed, or the Crusades, where hundreds of thousands died on faraway battlefields, or through disease or starvation, including excess population children?

And these are still penny-ante! How about the delusionally manipulated European peasants of the Dark Ages?? The Church convinced them that cats were the minions of Satan, so they killed them all off – which allowed rats to proliferate – which promoted the growth of fleas infected with bubonic plague – which killed off over 1/3 of the total population of Europe…. Millions and Millions!

Anyone who doesn’t see, or denies the relationship, is more than comfortably deluded. Not to seem harsh, but, aside from the FBI agents in Waco, I don’t really give a damn. It’s a self-solving problem. It’s about as important as being unfriended on FaceBitch: it’s like the garbage taking itself out. 😈

Delusion does nothing but hold us back. Truth is far more important than all of the soothing lies and should be sought in all instances. I know that sometimes the lies can give you temporary peace, but in the end, somebody always gets hurt.

Smitty’s Loose Change #9

Chalice

Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told.

Religion is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right.

In the past we had chalices of wood and priests of gold.

Now we have chalices of gold, and priests of wood.

It is far better to have a religion without a church, than a church without a religion.

When religion is used to pander to political whims, it must forego the high moral ground, and become debased by worldly political demands.  The thrust should not be, but often is, directed at the creation of new political institutions and establishing political arrangements.

***

I decided to reward myself with a cup of coffee after a long, hard week.
Then I realized that it’s Tuesday.  Morning!

***

I’ve found a couple of inventive ways to irritate telemarketers, who call at inopportune times (are there ever any opportune times?)  I’ve placed the phone on my stomach, while reclining in my easy chair, after a platter of nachos.  I’ve laid it, face-up, beside a cat who was loudly demanding to be fed.

The son and grandson, third and fourth generations of this weirdly delightful (and delightfully weird) family, have outpaced even me.  One day, the son was in the computer room after coming home from work.  He was standing beside the scanner/printer/fax machine, when the phone rang.  When it rings, the fax machine wakes up. Is it for me?

He said ‘Hello’ into the phone, and got that second of dead air, then it opened to a boiler-room of 50 Pakis babbling in the background.  He immediately jabbed the ‘Send Fax’ button.  SCREEEE-AWWW, SCREECH-SCREECH.  If the fax noise hadn’t drowned it out, he might have learned what the Urdu word for ‘Fuck’ was.

Even more technological, the grandson’s smart-phone shows who’s calling.  When he pulls it from his pocket and looks at the screen, it shows ‘Duct-Cleaner,’ so he answers, “Rogers’ Duct-Cleaning Services, how may we help you?”  “Uhhh….never mind.”

***

I recently found a small advertising flyer, hand-delivered to my mailbox.  It was from a new real-estate company, offering 1% commission sales.  “And you don’t pay until you sell.”  All I could think was, “Margaret, I’ve got a great idea.  Let’s not sell the house….but we’ll give these nice people several thousand dollars, just because they put a postcard in our mailbox.”

***

Clarity

Forest fire update:  Parry Sound 33 inches closer to Highway 69

I wasn’t sure just how a forest fire could move an entire small city almost a meter (yard), so I succumbed to the click bait.  It seems that, a forest fire, identified as “Parry Sound, number 33,” slowly burns (inches) closer to Highway 69.  One little # number sign, or even a comma, would have made that much clearer.

Punctuation

***

That’s about all the stuff that runs screaming through my head, that the court order allows me to tell you at this time.  Arncha glad?   😆

 

Pros And Cons

There have always been ways to separate the gullible from their money, but the internet has provided the pros with a method to practice their cons, quicker, easier, more anonymously, and over a much wider scope.

I resentfully awoke the other day, 2 hours before my much-needed beauty sleep normally ended, to a ringing telephone.  Sullenly answering it, I was assailed by a too-perky, recorded female voice informing me that her corporation was aware that I was paying too high an interest rate on my credit card (How?), and this was my last chance….Yadda, Yadda, Yadda!  Bottom line – pay money.

At the end of the recording, the voice said, “If you no longer wish to receive these notifications, press 2 now.”  If this was my last chance, why do I continue to receive 2 or 3 of these calls every week?  And you can push that number 2 till it falls off the phone, the wife has stabbed it dozens of times, yet the calls persist.

We used to get about the same number of calls from some Paki, who told us that he was from Microsoft, and they had noticed that we had problems with our computer (again, how?!  hundreds of millions of computers, and you noticed a problem, on mine?).  Even many users with MSN.com as their home page, didn’t recognize a Microsoft connection.

Perhaps Microsoft threatened legal action of some sort.  Now they tell you that they are from “the Word Program Department,” and if you’ll just perform their electronic voodoo, and let them take over your computer, they’ll fix it all better – right after they empty your bank accounts and max out your credit cards.

When the wife has the time and patience, she lets them babble their spiel, and then acts all confused, “because we only have Macs in the house, and we don’t use a Word program on them.”

Despite the Do Not Call List, which they can’t read in Pakistan, we continue to get calls for various duct-cleaning services.  The disabled daughter lives in a one-floor housing unit with no basement.  She recently told us how she stopped all these calls.  Quite truthfully, she told them all that her unit is heated with electric baseboard heaters – no ducts!  The wife had a chance to use that line on Sunday morning.  Feel free to try it yourself.

While I was out running a few errands the other day, the doorbell rang.  Since the wife wasn’t feeling well, she didn’t go downstairs to answer it.  When I returned home, there was a brightly-printed flyer hanging from the mailbox.  It was from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Apparently, if they don’t get the chance to personally beat you with a copy of The Watchtower, like a dog shitting on your lawn, they leave this crap behind.

Even worse, when I more closely examined it, I found that they have their own website, JW.com, and a QR code printed on the corner of the sheet.  You can find everything you wanted to know about the Jovies by scanning this with your Smartphone.  I learned everything I wanted to know about them from the fact that they come around, uninvited and unwanted, disturb your life, and leave shit behind.  These Children of God have become Children of the Information Age.  Thanx Internet.  😦

Early on an autumn Sunday afternoon, the doorbell rang.  Cracking the front door so that a yapping dog wouldn’t leak out, I saw a clean-looking, 20ish male, dressed in (a uniform?) a light-blue, long-sleeved cotton shirt, dark blue, neatly-creased slacks, with a black nylon lanyard around his neck.  He held up a laminated plastic ID with his picture and name (maybe), but no corporation name.

What I have to believe was a fine line of bullshit, was beautifully crafted.  “I’m from the Home Inspection Department, (Of what company, or Government level?) I’m here to check the integrity of your house. (What integrity?)  I’ll just leave my shoes out here”….and actually looked puzzled, as I closed the door on him.  Phone me, or email me, or even write me, and we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time.

Who comes around, unannounced, and unidentified, on a Sunday?  And yet, he and his patter looked and sounded so good, that I’m sure many home-owners unquestioningly opened their houses to him – and then later, wondered where the laptop or the jewelry went to.  I suppose I should have reported him to the Fraud Squad, even tried to get a picture of him, but I am not my neighbor’s keeper.  Caveat Emptor!

Minutia IV

During the recent Provincial election, I saw two high school students vandalizing an election sign at the side of the road. I know they were high school students because they were wearing the red plaid kilts of the nearby Catholic school.  That’s right ladies and germs, two teenage, female, Catholic students, kicking the shit out of a sign of some candidate who they, and presumably their parents, disapprove of.

Defacing election signs is a federal offence! That’s how Charley Manson got his start.  He obtained a blank Department of Interior check, and made it out to himself for $5, and did time in a federal prison.  Once released, he broke into a Post Office and stole the “leave a penny” tray, netting 98 cents, and did time in a federal prison.

Released again, he convinced a young female to “work” for him, transported her across a State line to provide her services, ran right into the Mann Act, and did more time in a federal prison.  So, if you’d like your Good Christian daughter to be Charley’s girlfriend in prison, send her to a Catholic School and urge her to freely express her political opinions.

We used to hang a bird feeder on the fence near the back of the property. The birds we attracted would eat seeds like sunflower, but would throw on the ground, all the millet.  As a result, I have about 200 square feet of lawn that’s millet plants.  It’s soft, it’s green, it covers, but it’s not grass!

The wife planted a couple of chive plants in a small bed just beyond. Over the years, the chive has seeded itself further and further into this bed of millet. I mowed the lawn the other day, and when I reached this area, it smelled like I had a gasoline-powered salad shooter.

I have found two new ways to irritate telemarketers. They’re easy to identify.  The phone rings, I pick it up and say Hello, nothing happens for a second or two, then suddenly the line opens on their end and you can hear30 or 40 voices babbling in the background, and somebody starts to say, Hello, Hello??, usually in a Paki accent.

Previously, when this happens, I just say nothing and make a game of how many desperate Hellos I get before they finally hang up.  Recently, two cats climbed into my recliner and poured a bucket of soporific on me, and we all had an hour’s nap.  I awoke, partly because I had to pee, but more urgently, because the plate of nachos I had for lunch, c/w refried beans, was starting to rock and roll in my digestive tract.

Just as I decided I could extend the nap another half hour, the phone rang, and I got to hear “Kevin” (Gupta) babble. Too tired to even reach to hang the phone up, I just laid it face down on my stomach, and let him talk to my borborygmus – Hello? (rumble, rumble) Hello? (gurgle, gurgle).  After a while he went away, and I pushed Off.  Now I worry that my stomach may have ordered something from him in Paki, and I’ll receive a lifetime supply of curried chicken and basmati rice.

More recently, I was in the kitchen, trying to accomplish two simultaneous chores and arguing with a cat who wanted to drink from the filtered faucet, Meow, Meow, Meow. In the midst of all this, suddenly the phone rang, and I was treated to “Kevin’s” brother “David” (Sanjit).  As soon as Mr. Hello came on the line, I laid the phone, face-up on the table in front of the thirsty cat and let him explain, Hello….Meow, Meow, Hello??….Meow, Meow!  Let Paki “David” figure out how the cat answered the phone.

There is a shortage of doctors in Ontario. Most doctors are turning away potential patients.  Recently, I heard the female brains behind the Money Mill,  advertising on the radio.  Here, slightly paraphrased, is what I heard.

“Hello, I’m Doctor Packrat. I operate a cosmetic clinic in Cambridge.  Other clinics have estheticians and technicians.  If you’d like to safely increase your beauty, please come to our clinic.  We have only doctors and nurses.  None of them is actually trained in cosmetology.

We have Internists with queasy stomachs, Pediatricians unable to treat children any longer because of convictions and restraining orders, and Ob/Gyns who were too lazy to get out of bed to deliver babies. You are guaranteed to lose weight because all of them have been extensively trained in surgically extracting every last dollar from your wallet.”

We recently attended the Free Thinkers meeting at the new venue. While the food, choices, price and access are all good, I am not thrilled with the room.  It’s all flat, hard, walls and windows.  The reverberations quickly raise the noise level to intolerable.  I took along the son, daughter, grandson and fiancée.

Since I can talk to any of them, any time I want, when I entered, I quickly sat on the far side of the table next to a new female. It turned out that the reason she had attended was that she was angling for the Liberal nomination in the next Provincial election, and was out shaking babies and kissing hands, as well as taking the measure of various local groups.

Perhaps because it was me sitting beside her, but she was surprised and impressed at the depth and breadth of knowledge of politics, history, psychology, sociology and religion. This was not a group that she could bullshit to.

She wants to work to oust the Federal Conservatives, “Because they’ve had their time.” without offering any other reason or alternative. Like the Religionists, it’s because, “We’re entitled – and they’re not.”

LXX

Black Forest Cake

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ve got a big block of cheese, ‘cause I’ve got a huge jug of whine.

I’m finally officially old!  I know I’ve been gently hinting about it for a couple of years, but I just passed into my eighth decade. (Don’t say passed to an old person!)  I couldn’t even bear to put 70 (shudder!) up as a title, I had to use Roman Numerals.  Last year was worse, 69 looks so untidy, and has that sexual connotation.  69, rendered in Roman Numerals, probably spells out some despicable word.  LXX isn’t much better.  It looks like the title of an Alzheimer’s Porno flick.

He was as old and hard as the candy I keep on the table.
When she walked into the room, his heart stopped.
He had an ass like Cal Coolidge.
Blow into my hearing aid, she cooed.
Rick’s pants weren’t pleated anymore.
Teeth in, or out?
She caressed the balls of his walker legs.
It was a position called “The Reverse Rocking Chair.”
We watched Wheel of Fortune, and he gave me an ‘O’.
Finally she whispered, “That’s what I call an early bird special!”

Last year, I got accolades from acolytes. I got a party, and partiers, and a poem.  I got followers, fun and frivolity.  I got drunks on my lawn, and kilts, and bagpipes.  This year all I got, was older and grumpier, and I’m already overqualified.

That’s not exactly true. I also got more aches and pains, and less stamina and attention span.  I got the names of several new doctors, and the chance to experience some new medical procedures – oh thrill, oh joy!

Time waits for no man. He’s dragging me, kicking and screaming – well, shuffling and mewling – into the future.  I guess, as long as I can see the green side of the sod, all is well.  I keep checking the obits in the newspaper.  I haven’t seen my picture – yet.  I just came home by bus, from the terminal.  (Don’t say terminal to an old person!)

If any of you want to stop over to mow my lawn, or drop off some birthday cake – I’d happily settle for a cupcake, even without a candle – try not to arrive between 6PM and 7. That’s the time I take my nap, so that I have enough energy to compose another post for tomorrow.

medical_363124952_std

 

 

 

For this birthday, I’ll have another reason to be grumpier than usual. I’ll be living in “interesting” Chinese times.  I will be getting my asshole reamed.  My G.I. guy (gastro-enterologist) has decided that I don’t need to learn to deep-throat.  I don’t have to have an endoscopy.  I don’t know why my G.P. couldn’t figure that out, but on Monday, the day after my birthday, I have to go to hospital for a colonoscopy.

We had the daughter and grandson over for a celebratory meal on Saturday. As soon as they left, I stopped eating solid food.  Sunday is nothing but clear liquids – chicken broth, ginger ale and apple juice – oh, yum.  🙂  Through Sunday, and Monday morning, I have to down four liters/quarts of Drano cleansing liquid, to flush the old pipes out, generally being no more than six feet from a toilet.

If they find anything interesting, perhaps I could post pictures – whenever I can sit at the computer again.  We might even solve the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance.  “You know, that chair felt lumpy when I sat down.”

Since, hopefully, I’ll be feeling no pain, the wife gets to be chauffeur. After they’ve rectum at the hospital, she gets to drag my ass (literally) home.

My next couple of posts may be a bit (more) grouchy, but I’m sure that, after I’ve Alice Cooper-ed the head off a batty Jehovah’s Witness or Paki telemarketer selling duct cleaning, I’ll be safe to approach without the tranquilizer dart gun. Wish me luck.  Here I go, ass first (as usual).