I’ll be rich!!

The following was in my personal email this morning.  What makes this different from most of these is that rather than “undisclosed recipients”, this one was sent to me personally.  Perhaps they felt a personal approach instead of a shotgun mailing would bring better results. Either that or the recipient of this message, since it is addressed to them personally, would assume it came from someone or some firm they’ve dealt with before.  Didn’t work – I’m still writing about it.  This was today’s promise of wealth:

Subject    Proven online money making system
From    Online Marketing Systems <onlinejobs@cado-perso.net>
Date    Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:22 am

My Name is James Burk, I found one of the best and very interesting home jobs which may surely going to like. Please find below its details –

10 Minute Job Work, is one of the latest on demand Job work released by Online-Home-Jobs.com. Because of huge requests from people worldwide to have job work which can be really done in 10 Minutes. Our 10 Minute Job Work is for those you really want to make extra income in their spare time. Today anyone can easily spend 10 Minutes a day to do the task. This 10 Minute Job Work will easily pay all your monthly bills and can even do extra shopping’s for you.

Here is the proof !!!


Visit it using below link

Since this was to my personal email, not the one attached to WordPress, I’ve deleted it from the message.  If I want you to have it, I’ll offer it to you.

First, in addition to the obvious bits – the file and link – “James Burk” was also highlighted as a hyerlink.  A quick check of Google reveals that “Online Marketing Systems “ is too vague a term to be useful in a search for this – there appears to be thousands of them out  there.  When I look up “ Online-Home-Jobs.com” things get interesting.  My screen shows seven items at a time when I use Google.  Four of them were either stating or questioning  whether “Online-Home-Jobs” is a scam, so chances are that it is indeed a scam.

Don’t know what would happen if you clicked on the “James Burk” link, but I suspect it would be similar to clicking on the file or link, and that is you’re opening your computer to  the possibility of inviting something nasty in – Trojans, worms, keyloggers or worse.  And no, I never click on any links in emails like this.  Visiting the site would probably result in you being asked for personal information.  After all, if you did decide to try this, they’d need this information “for tax purposes”.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn however, the only tax involved would either be a drain on your bank account, or the taxes racked up in your name with the identity they’d have stolen.

We won’t get into the English other than to point out the unnecessary apostrophe in “shopping’s”.

Once again dear readers, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.  My advice is, as always, NEVER click on any link in strange emails, Your best action is to delete these messages as soon as you see them.  Lecture over.

Enjoy the rest of your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.  And always practice safe surfing.


Late night nonsense

Blame the late night news on CTV Toronto for this posting.

1 – There was a double homicide in northwest Toronto in the early hours of yesterday.  This occurred in a townhouse complex, known as Jamestown, that has been known to be a frequent arena for gang activity.  During this past summer, Toronto Police did some community outreach work in this area, which seemed to help.  Residents reported they felt safer and they allowed their children to play outside without worrying too much.

As part of the news coverage, the news crew interviewed some area residents.  One of these residents must be living in Neverland, not Jamestown.  Keep in mind, this area is part of a gang’s turf.  Yet this lady said she couldn’t understand how these murders happened because “nobody here has guns”.  Lady, what you mean is nobody here will admit to having a gun. According to an item on one of the news websites I follow, the local gang is called “The Jamestown Crips”.  Of course there are guns.  It’s just that they aren’t telling anyone who doesn’t need to know, and those who do know, won’t talk.

2 – In a second item, Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario is talking about helping Ontario farmers by helping them get their produce into local stores.  As part of an interview, he suggested that if people just spend ten dollars more on their groceries, it would help create thousands of jobs in the province.   Like the lady in item 1, Dalton is so far removed from reality it has passed the point of being ridiculous.

Dalton, I’ll try to use small words here so you might understand me.  People can’t spend ten dollars more on their groceries because they can’t afford to spend ten dollars more on their groceries.  Grocery costs keep going up (I’d have used “increasing”, but I said I’d use small words) and people are having a hard time putting food on the table now.  Rather than encourage people to spend more on Ontario produce, why don’t you try to do something about the already exorbitant cost of food.  Is there any valid reason why a loaf of bread at the discount stores still costs $1.99?   I live alone and don’t buy name brands, except for dish detergent, or unnecessary things, like cookies, yet every month my grocery bill goes up.  If you want to really help people, do something about that.  Yes, it’s great that you’re trying to help Ontario farmers.  After all, you do have a minority government which could be bought down any day, so it’s nice to try to gather votes early.

Okay, I’ve let off some steam over these idiotic statements and think I can probably sleep now.

Enjoy the rest of your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


“Free” isn’t and other things

1 – For months now my cellular provider has been telling me I qualify for a free upgrade.  My current phone is the iPhone 3G and I’ll admit I had been thinking of an upgrade to the 4S.  I know the 5 is about to hit the market, but I remember the problems people were reporting with the 4 when it came out, so I think I’d wait at least 6 months before considering the iPhone 5.  I stopped by my provider’s kiosk in the Pickering Town Centre today to ask about this “free” upgrade.  Turns out I would still have to pay for the phone – the iPhone 4 is zero dollars, and the 4S is $79 on a three year contract.  I have no problem with the term of the contract, that’s what I’m on now.  What is “free” is that they wouldn’t charge me the processing fees for upgrading my phone.  I may as well wait until about a month before this contract expires, then take advantage of the offer.  The current phone does what I want – it makes and receives telephone calls and texts, and it will access the net when I need it to, so I don’t really need anything fancier at the moment.  And I’ve never been able to take a “good” photo with it.  There’s a couple I consider “decent”, but “good” – nope.

2 – I’ve been told by many of my readers, here on WordPress; previously on Blogger, and other places my writings have appeared, that I write well and should be submitting my work for publication.  I’ve always been reluctant to do that. Oh, I’ve submitted a manuscript for a collection of short stories to one publisher, and got what has to be the most positive rejection letter possible – to paraphrase in part “just because it doesn’t meet our criteria,  there are other publishers out there” – and the possibility of rejection doesn’t bother me – too much.  Like most of us, we don’t like hearing our work isn’t suitable.

But it wasn’t the fear of rejection that’s stopped me from submitting articles.  I’m retired and living on a small government pension and various supplements available to me.  I was aware that the government would reduce my supplements, which I really need, on a dollar-for-dollar basis if I earned any extra income.  They were generous enough however to give pensioners a $500 a year allowance.  What’s that, a little over $40 a month?  Now, if my writing is a good as I’m told (I think it’s great, but I’m biassed – it’s the readers who really decide) I would hope I’d do more than forty bucks a month in sales of my articles.  If that did happen, and I exceeded that $500 limit, the government would reduce the total payment accordingly.  If I hit a dry spell, when I didn’t sell anything, I wouldn’t get that supplement back.  That possibility of permanently reducing my guaranteed income  was the main reason I haven’t submitted any articles to magazines.

Granted, it has been several years since I did the original investigation into that pension thing.  I took another look yesterday and discovered that sometime in the past four years, the feds have raised that limit to $3,500, or about $290 a month.  That’s more like it.  I know someone who has earned a living as a freelance writer for at least fifteen years, and I’m hoping she can give me some guidance on this, for I have no idea how to go about submitting, or where to submit my work.  So who knows, one of these days you may see articles by Cat Howard in magazines or newspapers.   Kinda scary in a way.

To my followers and readers, enjoy the rest of your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


Bring him to justice – media questions

I’m upset.  No, upset doesn’t cover it – I’m pissed.  With the Toronto media.

This past weekend a service station attendant was killed.  Someone pumped over $100 worth of gas into his vehicle, then attempted to flee without paying.  The attendant was struck by this vehicle and dragged some distance.  He later died in hospital.  The police know who they’re looking for and have issued a Public Safety Alert for this man on a charge of second degree murder.  And the media are reporting this search and publicizing the man’s name and picture.

Yes, this was a tragedy and this man deserves to be off the streets.  According to news reports, this wasn’t the first time he’d pulled a “gas and dash”.  His name was also mentioned in reference to some prowling incidents in the west end of Toronto.  Granted this was a very public event and a provincial politician, who frequently used that station, has  said he’ll try to change the law so drivers have to pay before they fill up and there is of course public outrage over the callous behaviour of that driver.

But is this really any different than the search for George Flowers?  George Flowers, aka “Mr Flowas”, according to the Public Safety Alert – and here’s the link: http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/newsreleases/pdfs/24254.pdf has been HIV positive since 1996 and never bothered telling his partners.  How many women has he sentenced to death with his silence?   The police alert was issued August 13.  To my knowledge, a local television news station, CP24, mentioned it once.  The Toronto news radio stations have the bulletin on their websites, as do some stations in western Canada – Winnipeg Manitoba, Edmonton Alberta and New Westminster BC come to mind – but it has not received the general coverage this hit and run has seen.  Why not?  I’ve since been told one of the Toronto papers had a two inch long item buried on an inside page as well.

Is it, as I wrote above, that the hit and run was such a public incident, or that a politician is involved in finding a solution to prevent the problem in the future?  Or is it that the search for a serial killer who used sex as a weapon, for that is what George Flowers is, or will be, less “glamourous” than a hit and run?  Let’s face it.  With this “gas and dash” fatality, the news crews can get footage of the station and the area and speak with people from the neighbourhood.    Other than a news anchor reporting on the search for Flowers, news footage is scarce.  His victims won’t want to appear on camera.  They have spent years in some cases trying to rebuild their lives after getting a diagnosis of HIV positive and being on television would destroy those lives and violate their privacy.  But surely the print media and radio could be doing a better job of publicizing the search for George Flowers.  I’ve been told I’m the only person who has written anything about this matter.  While I have a good number of regular readers as well as many others according to the site statistics, I don’t have the coverage commercial media has. George Flowers is as much a hazard as is Max Edwin Tutiven, the apparent driver of the SUV.  So why isn’t the media doing more?


I’m getting a headache

Some of the wording in the following “comment” found in my spam folder a short while ago is very similar to the “comment” I quoted in my posting “What did he say?”. This one however gives an entirely new definition to the word “convoluted”.  Since I don’t want to be the only one with a headache, here – read it for yourself:

link ten
szyk.xn--moje-kaway-i0b.dlugoleka.pl x
Submitted on 2012/09/17 at 12:40 pm

Unquestionably consider that that you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to keep in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get irked whilst other folks think about concerns that they plainly don’t understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thanks

Sorry, but you’ll have to supply your own headache medication.  This was intended as a comment on my posting “More Ford Foolishness”, which dealt with the antics of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his family.  No matter how much I tilt my head, no matter how hard I squint, I simply cannot find any connection between this babble and what I posted.

Now, once again the extension on this is”.pl” meaning Poland.  I presume this was written in Polish, then some online translator such as Google Translate was used to turn it into English.  I realize that these translation programmes are not perfect in their translations, but if this was the best the programme could do with this, I almost feel sorry for the programme.  Yes, the words are all in the English language, but their context certainly doesn’t make much sense.

According to what I could find on Google, “szyk.xn--moje-kaway-i0b.dlugoleka.pl “ is a “whois” site, so I presume this message was intended to attract new business.  Somehow I doubt that if I used it, I would understand the answer, at least based on this message.

And as for the last sentence “will likely be again to get more” – don’t threaten me.  Or if you do come back (after all, readers are always welcome) do me a big favour and DON’T LEAVE A MESSAGE!!

To my followers and readers, enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love (and decipherable comments) too.


Flattery may get you deleted

I found the following in my spam folder on WordPress this morning:

Amedar Consulting Group
amedar.pl x
Submitted on 2012/09/16 at 9:59 pm

I wanted to jot down a brief remark to be able to say thanks to you for all of the amazing pointers you are sharing at this website. My incredibly long internet look up has at the end of the day been recognized with sensible knowledge to talk about with my partners. I would express that many of us website visitors are definitely lucky to be in a fine site with very many special professionals with good hints. I feel very much lucky to have used the webpages and look forward to plenty of more excellent minutes reading here. Thank you again for everything.

On the surface, this sounds good.  But let’s take a look at it.  First of all, this was intended for my posting “From my television”, in which I take a swipe first at a Lumosity commercial – the one with the line “exercising my brain is hard” (no it isn’t – try thinking) – then rip into YouTube for their refusal to remove that anti-Islam film at the request of the White House.

So right there, they’ve missed the mark.  As for “all the amazing pointers” about the only time I write anything remotely resembling advice is when I’m warning about the possible dangers of clicking on links in spam, or responding to requests to help move “x” millions out of some African nation, usually Nigeria or Burkina Faso.  “Sensible knowledge to talk about with my partners”.  Right.  The tagline on the profile reads “the world as I see it”, so I somehow have doubts my personal opinion would qualify as “sensible knowledge” unless the reader agrees with my views.

The “.pl” extension in the address indicates it comes from Poland, so I’m going to be generous (it’s early in the day and that may change) and say the awkward phrasing is the result of some online programme, such as Google Translate, turning the Polish into English.

I have written of other messages from Amedar Consulting Group.  I’ve also mentioned before that, according to an article I read, more and more scams and phishing expeditions are coming from that part of Europe.  According to what I can find on Google, they appear to be a legitimate company, but I somehow question whether a legitimate company would resort to spambots on blogging sites.  And that is what this appears to be – major league spamming.  I’m also suspicious when I get glowing comments like this from a company, especially a consulting firm.  If it’s that good, offer me a job 🙂

Like all of us, we’ll gladly accept genuine compliments, but we are also quick to delete obvious flattery and scams.

To my followers and readers, thank you.  Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


Save some of that for our politicians

Don’t get me wrong with what I’m about to write.  I admire Obama greatly for what he’s accomplished during his first term considering the mess he inherited.  And well, I’ve made no secret of my feelings towards Stevie.  If you’re a new reader “Stevie” refer to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  And that I call him “Stevie” should tell you all you need to know  about my views.  Simply put, I respect the office of Prime Minister, but not the present occupant of that office.

As do many Facebook users, I have friends from all over the world and am always struck by my American friends’ willingness to express their political views, especially now that the presidential election draws near. I am also amazed at the support many of my Canadian friends show for President Obama, even though they can’t vote for the man.

Granted President Obama is a charismatic man, whereas Stevie has all the charisma of a wet sponge, and in the last election, Michael Ignatieff, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada at the time, was as dull as Stevie, but surely Canadians could drum up some of the excitement they show for American politics for the Canadian version.  Perhaps if they had we wouldn’t now be saddled with a government that seems intent upon making a mockery of the institution of Parliament.  Perhaps some of that fire people exhibit toward Obama would have prevented Stevie from getting an absolute majority.

To my Canadian readers, I suggest you remember the enthusiasm you are showing for Obama and save some of it for whenever Stevie decides to call a general election in Canada.  If you do, we may get the government we need, not the government our current apathy has given us.

Okay, rant over.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


The mumbo-jumbo continues

On September 2, in my posting “What the hell is he talking about?” I copied a message that turned up in my spam here on WordPress.  The title was based upon the fact that I had no idea what the person was talking about in reference to my website.  Well, I’ve already deleted the first message today and here’s a second one from someone claiming to be “Julia”.  In this case, I ask “what the hell is she talking about?”

Julia Plese
Submitted on 2012/09/16 at 8:48 am

Hello Web Admin, I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors, for one you do not use all three H tags in your post, also I notice that you are not using bold or italics properly in your SEO optimization. On-Page SEO means more now than ever since the new Google update: Panda. No longer are backlinks and simply pinging or sending out a RSS feed the key to getting Google PageRank or Alexa Rankings, You now NEED On-Page SEO. So what is good On-Page SEO?First your keyword must appear in the title.Then it must appear in the URL.You have to optimize your keyword and make sure that it has a nice keyword density of 3-5% in your article with relevant LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing). Then you should spread all H1,H2,H3 tags in your article.Your Keyword should appear in your first paragraph and in the last sentence of the page. You should have relevant usage of Bold and italics of your keyword.There should be one internal link to a page on your blog and you should have one image with an alt tag that has your keyword….wait there’s even more Now what if i told you there was a simple WordPress plugin that does all the On-Page SEO, and automatically for you? That’s right AUTOMATICALLY, just watch this 4minute video for more information at.
The link wouldn’t copy. This reads exactly the same as that previous message. Whoever this organization is, it would seem they ascribe to the “3B” school of advertising “ Bullshit Baffles Brains”.  Or in other words, if they use obscure  or technical terms, the listener or reader will assume they really know what they’re talking about and fall for this spiel.  Sorry Julia, or whatever your real name may be, but if I can’t understand what you’re trying to tell me, I’m not interested.  And that “wait there’s even more” still sounds like a Ginsu knife commercial.  As for bold and italics, I think that I, as the writer, have a better idea where they should be used that would you.  Simple, everyday English, or explaining some of these terms, may go a long way toward actually having people contact you.

Again, this appears to be some sort of phishing or scam attempt and even if you do understand what they’re saying, I suggest you not click on the link.  In fact, if you can understand what they’re trying to say, you don’t need their link.  And could you do me favour? Explain it to me, please?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love (and plain  English) too.


From my television

Time to pick on television again.

Maybe I’m becoming more cynical with age, but I find I question some of the claims made in commercials. I just watched a commercial for Lumosity – the programme that claims to exercise your brain – and one line in it really caught my attention.  An actress says at one point “it’s hard to exercise your brain”.  Excuse me?  “It’s hard to exercise your brain”?  I’ve found simple things such as reading – and you can get books for free from the library – and doing crossword puzzles work well.  They’re available online in the daily papers, again at no cost.  From the Lumosity website, I can’t tell if there is any cost to this, but I somehow doubt it is free.

An item on the early news on CTV Toronto caught my attention and caused some displeasure.  No doubt you are aware of the anti-Islam movie that has caused all the demonstrations in the Middle East that have resulted in the deaths of three American citizens, including the Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya this past week.  According to this news item, the White House asked YouTube to examine the portions of that movie currently on their site with a view to removing them.  YouTube, which is part of that great American company Google, refused to remove it saying it falls within their guidelines.  Obviously common sense is not part of their guidelines.  Think about it.  This is a “movie” that has resulted in American Embassies being attacked throughout the Muslim world – and apparently the Embassy in Sydney, Australia was the site of a demonstration today – and has resulted in the deaths of at least three Americans, but you consider your “guidelines” so sacred you won’t pull a video even at the request of the White House?  How many more embassies must be attacked and destroyed and how many more American lives must be lost before you reconsider?

Now that I’ve vented a bit, I feel better.  To my followers and readers, enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.


So much for the raise.

On August 30, in my posting “Give him a raise, don’t fire him” I described the plight of a teacher in Edmonton Alberta who had been suspended for giving a student a zero on an assignment the student failed to hand in.  This was in defiance of the school’s “no zero” policy. The principal felt that the teacher should make a comment to encourage the student rather than zero for a mark.  What – teach the kids that not completing tasks is acceptable?

I mentioned that this teacher was to meet with the superintendent of schools this past week.  My stance was that the teacher should be given a raise rather than fired, for his way would prepare students for the world that exists outside school.  The world where incomplete or shoddy work isn’t acceptable.

I just read an article in the online edition of The Toronto Sun that stated the superintendent fired the teacher.  Obviously he didn’t read my previous posting.  The teacher is appealing the dismissal, but it never should have happened in the first place.  The article also states that the Edmonton Public School Board is launching a policy review committee that will look into student assessment practices. It’s a little late for this teacher and should have been done long ago.  If and when the media updates this, I’ll write another post.

To my followers and readers, enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.