Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats.
And maybe a border collie.
© 2006-2014 All rights reserved
- Name: Becky Mushko
- Location: Rural Virginia, United States
I'm a retired teacher turned writer. Ferradiddledumday (my Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story) and Stuck (my middle grade paranormal novel) are available from Cedar Creek Publishing.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
February Scam: Fund Diverting
I've received some interesting scam emails this month, including this one which came in this morning:
From: centurylink <r
It had, of course, no message in the body. Just the header. You'd think anyone from CenturyLink (not Century link) would use an actual CenturyLink email addy (I disemvoweled the fuse.net one above) and would give a bit more detail about the "virus" in my inbox. It was almost the best example of email scam that hit my inbox this month. But not quite. Meanwhile, here's a picture of three sleeping kitties:
Winner of the best scam of February is Stephen Gianino, who sent an email titled "Compensation, View Attach" to "Undisclosed Recipients" from a granjaregina.com.br addy but wants replies sent to a yahoo.com addy. The png attachment he sent (he didn't even type out the letter!) is this:
So, Stevie, on the off chance you're reading my blog, I'll reply here. How have you seen ("several times"!) people diverting my Social Security and/or my state retirement checks) into their personal accounts? Were you looking over their shoulders? Hacking into their computers? Reading their minds?
These people (I'm assuming there are several since you mentioned "people") must be really good at this because my SS and retirement funds are made into my account every month, and I've been spending this money to live on every single month.
You'd think that the US government or the state of Virginia would have noticed my "funds" being diverted to accounts somewhere in Africa, wouldn't you? Or is it England, since that is where you are employed. The fact that you watched these people divert my funds "several times" and didn't report them makes me wonder about your integrity.
Gosh, these account diverters must have been doing this for a while. For instance, here's a posting of your same letter (and even the same font!) sent on Sept. 12, 2012. The only difference is that your addy is And here's the same email you sent on Feb. 3, 2012 from your hotmail addy. And, my gosh, here's one from Nov. 22, 2011, but it was sent from an aol addy—and there are others on the same site sent from different addys. Those at least have a "Dear Friend" salutation and you ask for 40% funds instead of "40% them." You've been doing this for a while, now haven't you? It's just mind-boggling all those packets of six million dollars you're putting together. I'm wondering why those fund-diverters only work in $6 million increments. Could you maybe explain that?
Plus, I'm concerned bout the "I have seen in your records that you have spent a lot trying to receive these fund" because I haven't spent a cent, but, yeah, any funds would certainly "help with my financial situation." I'm the sole support of a dozen cats, plus some dogs and an old horse—and those critters all have healthy appetites. Plus, I'm feeding a flock of birds that keeps growing daily. Here is a picture of another cute kitty:
And you'll send a diplomat right to my doorstep—or the doorstep of anyone these people have been stealing from! In my case, how will the diplomat get away from his diplomatic duties to journey all the way to rural America and negotiate his way through the dog poop in my driveway to get to my doorstep? (We have an elderly dog, who doesn't walk far. Hence the poop. But if I know the exact time your diplomat is coming, I'll rake the driveway.) Meanwhile, here is another picture of cute kitties.
Where is the diplomat stationed and why did he have to arrive in Africa? And where in Africa? It's a big place. I certainly wouldn't want a United Nations diplomat to have to go to so much trouble.
Therefore, on the off-chance that I might not be the person (or people, given all the ones who have received this same message from you) whom you're seeking, why don't we just do this: you send me $1 million in small bills and keep the rest for your fee. You can just stuff the money in one of those priority mail boxes—or whatever the equivalent is in whatever country you're in—and mail it to me. That way we won't have to worry about any fees, etc., will we? (Try to send a box that the cats can use for a bed. They like boxes.)
PS. An investigator with the Ministry of Finance shouldn't have to use a hotmail, yahoo, or aol addy. Why don't you ask your boss to give you an official email addy?
PPS. Did you know that someone named "Edger Hoover" is sending out the same email as you are? are? And he was doing it before you were sending yours? Here and here are some examples. Don't you think his doing that maybe casts aspersions at your integrity?
Anyhow, your little scam isn't nearly as interesting as one chronicled in the classic "Wendy Willcox and Her Dog Willis" scam-buster. That one doesn't have any cats, but it does have an interesting-looking dog.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
The Women Thomas Jefferson Loved
There is way too much repetition regarding Sally Hemings's kinship to various members of the Jefferson family. The author stresses over and over that Sally was Jefferson's wife's half sister, Jefferson's children's half-aunt, etc. Astute readers will get it the first (or second or third) time; they do not have to be told repeatedly.
The similes and metaphors the author used were ineffective, often made no sense, and were downright weird. The book would have been better without them. From Andrea Wulf's review in The New York Times:
Unfortunately, Scharff’s imagery can often pull the reader up short. To understand the entanglement of the Wayleses, Jeffersons and Hemingses is, she asserts, “a little like trying to eat spaghetti with a knife.” Martha’s body after her pregnancies was a “war zone.” Speculating on whether Jefferson had sex with Maria Cosway is “a little like playing tennis with an invisible ball.” Expectation and experience in a marriage collide, she tells us, “like a runaway wheelbarrow full of flower pots, jolting over a rock-strewn path.” Perhaps most bizarre, though, is Scharff’s conclusion that reality no more resembled Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of domestic bliss “than an unripe persimmon resembles a perfect pear.”I disagree with Wulf about the most bizarre image—the one that compares reassembling Monticello's columns to working Rubik's cube was worse. The book would have been much better without this strange use of figurative language.
Another problem was the switch back and forth in time, as the author showcased the next woman Jefferson loved. These women's lives overlapped. The story would have been better—or at least way easier to understand—in strict chronological order.
The author, a noted historian in her own right, did her homework. To her credit, she consulted numerous sources, and provided a plethora of end notes and an extensive bibliography.
From the book, I learned the lives of Jefferson and his women was marked by much unhappinesss: many deaths (only two of his children with Martha lived to adulthood, some of his grandchildren died in infancy, four of his slaves died within a week of each other, etc.), disease, and his ever-growing debt.
The book has changed my opinion about Jefferson. Instead of one of the foremost proponents of liberty, he now seems seems like a male chauvinist who thought a woman's place was in the home and who amassed a tremendous amount of debt. He thought women should be protected by men, but his accumulated debts left his female heirs unprotected after his death.
Was Jefferson the father of Sally Heming's children? The author made a good case that he was, although his children denied it. However, 1999 DNA tests indicate that at least one—Eston—and possibly more of her children were indeed fathered by Jefferson. Madison Hemings's 1873 memoir also mentioned Jefferson was his father.
While the book was no an easy read, I'm nonetheless glad I read it.
Monday, February 24, 2014
All Holed Up
Friday, February 21, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The snow didn't look like much at first.