Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

© 2006-2019 All rights reserved

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, June 12, 2017

CenturyLink Scam

On June 1, the following email arrived in my inbox:

I thought it sounded a bit odd. It didn't address me—the customer—by name. Had it been sent to a group, it should have been sent to "customers."  The syntax didn't quite sound like English was Jobidd's native language. Also, I'm pretty sure that CenturyLink, being an internet provider, would use a email addy, not a zoom Naturally, I didn't click on the page.

A few days later, I received a warning from "CenturyLink" about my mailbox being almost full. But they'll give me a free upgrade if I click my email address and re-login. Uh-oh.

Plus now the alleged CenturyLink rep is using a email addy. I'm pretty sure CL wouldn't do that. Then came another one—a final warning—from a different sender at the addy:

This time I hovered the cursor over my email addy that the scammer wanted me to click. It wasn't a link to CenturyLink at all (Are we surprised?) but a link to doitalwaysshhn (dot) com/ verified/ centurylink/ (. . .some more stuff. . . ) and ending in login (dot) htm. No way was I going to click to see where that went.

I'm also puzzled by the copyright notice on the bottoms of all three emails. Why would they be copyrighted? Would they sue me if I copied them?

Well, I didn't actually copy, did I? I just did 3 screen grabs that I exported as jpegs after altering my addy. 

I doubt I'm the only one being sent these scam emails. Y'all be careful what you click.


Friday, June 09, 2017

Scummy Writing Services

This post has nothing to do with cute kitties washing each other, but I'll post a picture anyhow:

This post does have to do with some scummy "writing service" providers who have attempted to infiltrate this blog.  Recently I received this as a comment to a 2008 blog post (note that I have smudged the contact info a bit):

The blog post commented upon had nothing to do with essay writing, so I don't know why this disreputable company chose it for a spam attempt. As a former college English instructor, I despise companies that provide cheating services for students. Naturally, I didn't approve the comment for publication. But I have no qualms about holding it up to ridicule.

I do appreciated the irony of "100% Plagiarism Free Content." Aren't they providing an essay for a student to plagiarize? (Or, if the essay has been paid for, maybe it's not really plagiarism?) And do they mean free content that is 100% plagiarism? Or do they mean "100% Plagiarism-Free Content"?

They don't seem to know that the presentation PowerPoint is one word. Or perhaps their "Power Point" is something that's done with a strong index finger and not the Microsoft program at all. That "Help on AdmissioDissertationn Essays" is a puzzler, too. Perhaps they need some help with their "Proofreading and Editing."

This is a good place to take a time-out with a cute kitty picture:

Now back to scummy writing services: Two days after that comment appeared in my email, I received an email from someone who wanted to do a guest post on my blog (I've smudged the company name and removed the email addy):

I couldn't imagine why this person wanted to do a guest post. (And on which blog? I have a few others besides this one.) Naturally, I checked the website—it's a "Legit & Cheap Essay Writing Service." Wow! both legit AND cheap! They're only $12 a page unless you have a short deadline—then there's a "rush charge." But  they're offering a 20% discount! Right smack dab on their website, they say:

If you need a professional essay writer to help you 
out with an ultra urgent college paper, use our
fast, completely legit, and cheap essay writing
 service NOW!

I wasn't impressed with the creative spacing for the above, nor was I impressed with the sentence structure of this claim:

Our essay writing service is equally popular with native USA students
as well as international students, another reason that proves our affordability and reliability

Like the other scammer, this one also offered papers that were "100% Plagiarism Free." But this one also claimed one of their "awesome features" was that their essays were "100% Turnitin Proof." If you're not familiar with Turnitin,  here's a link: A lot of colleges use Turnitin to check student writing for plagiarism.

If you're a student, you'd be stupid to use one of these scummy "services." If you fall prey to these "services," you might be too stupid to even go to college.

If you represent one of these "services," you are indeed stupid if you think I will approve your comment on this blog or allow you to make a guest blog-post. But I will use your email or website to shine a bit of light on your dubious "services."

I've addressed similar scumbag services before. See the following

And now for another cute kitty pic:


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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Kroger Buggy Update

Last month, I blogged about the problems of shopping at Kroger On Senior Day. I mentioned how hard if was for those of us who are mobility-impaired to get around the Rocky Mount store in handicapped buggies because many aisles were blocked by restockers and their huge carts. Those buggies are sometimes difficult to access, too.

Every time I fill out the "Kroger Feedback" online questionnaire to get more fuel points, I mention the problems that handicapped folks have. Last time I even included a link to the blog-post about them. The aisles are a bit better now, but there's still a problem with buggy access—BIG SIGNS that prevent those who need a handicapped buggy from getting one. About two weeks ago, when I told the manager about the new big red signs  blocking the buggies, he said those signs were a corporate decision and they concealed a monitor that detected stolen items. He said he couldn't remove them.

Ths past Monday, I found that another sign had been added to further block the buggies.  See—it blocks the entry area into the buggy's seat.

Notice that the buggies are lined up so close together that even someone who isn't old or crippled would have trouble getting one. Notice the big box blocking the far end—so the buggies aren't accessible from either end.

Luckily I had found a buggy outside and didn't have to try to get one out of the line. But there were no doubt others who weren't so lucky.

Why is Kroger so handicapped-unfriendly? How 'bout moving those signs? 

UPDATE: On June 13, the smaller sign had been removed and the buggies were more accessible. But on June 26, the small sign was back and I had to shove it out of the way.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

An Ill Wind Shear

"But it's an ill wind that blaws nobody gude."
—Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy

An ill wind indeed stuck the northeastern part on Union Hall on Sunday night, and indeed it blew ill. A rainbow in the evening hinted that the storms were ending.

But Sunday night brought high winds to a narrow strip of the county. The wind shear did considerable damage to trees and a few buildings. A neighbor to our farm in the area called early Monday to tell us what happened. He'd lost a bunch of trees as well as half the roof off a barn his grandfather had built in the late 1800s.

By the time wew went out to look, VDOT crews were cleaning up.

As we neared our farm, we saw this:

And then one of our trees—a big red oak that must be a hundred years old.

We had some smaller trees damaged, too. Plus some of our hay was flattened (it'll spring back) and the roof was blown off an ancient chicken house. The following pictures are on our neighbor's side of the road.

More scenes of the clean-up:

On Monday afternoon, another unusual event happened in Union Hall—a boat ran aground on Rt. 40.

OK—what really happened is that a big truck hauling a big boat on a low flatbed tried to turn onto Kemp Ford Road and didn't quite make it.

The turn is kind of tight and vehicles have to go over a hump. The trailer caught on the hump and wasn't going anywhere. An unmarked police car soon arrived (see the blue light?). At that point we left, so I don't know how they got the boat unstuck. 

I wonder if it got stuck again on some of the narrow roads to the numerous coves at the lake. I wonder if it encountered any downed trees. . . .

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