Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Too Stressed To Learn?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
The FBI and Me
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
But that's about the extent of my technosavvy.
Question is, does this lack of technosavvy make me rude?
You'll shortly get to be the judge of that.
I once had a cell phone; after two unsatisfactory years of it, I cancelled the account and donated the phone. It wasn't much of a phone, I'll grant you; it was a phone, it was capable of being a calculator, and it had a 'brick-Pong' type game on it, and that was all. Not like today's cell phones that can apparently do everything include send a ship's doctor psychotically into the past, where he totally screwed the pooch on the future, so a ship's captain and his pointy-earred first officer had to go back and undo what the good doctor dun, further wrecking the captain's alleged love life in the process.
Okay, so he didn't really do that with a cell phone. But it's what he looks like he's doing here, that had me use this picture: it looks like he's texting.
I'm not quite sure when texting became available; perhaps 3-5 years ago. But I know that in the past two years, it's become the national, even world, rage. Many of my friends text. Most of my coworkers text. I see it in the store; at the gym; in the can. Anywhere a cell signal can in and egress, someone is texting from there.
It's like for some, "how DID the human race survive, pre-texting?".
My answer is "just fine", but I digress, and am apparently wrong, in so far as at least some of the texting crowd are concerned, because I didn't text that answer (and email apparently doesn't count).
Not long ago, in a place not far away -- at my place of employment, specifically -- I was involved in a conversation with a coworker. More on that in a mo'.
Now, I am neither the most articulate or glib person I know; far from it. Nor am I the funniest or most passionate speaker I've ever heard. I can even be boring, both intentionally and accidentally. With me thinking thus, it would perhaps be reasonable to assume that when I've encountered having a conversation with someone -- a conversation they solicited in the first place -- who suddenly whips out their cell phone, and begins to text in mid-conversation, I can ponder what's more contributory to this occurence: am I more boring, or are they more ill-mannered?
As this conversation went, it wasn't really all that important in so far as solving national or world problems; but suddenly, I am talking to someone who is texting, and appears thoroughly uninterested in what I had to say, when a moment before, they were soliciting me for chat. So I shut up, until she completed the texting process. When she finished -- I assumed -- she glanced up at me with a "what?" look, and then asked me to remind her what I was saying.
Internally nonplussed, I didn't skip a beat externally, and resumed my thought audibly. For a few seconds, that is: then her eyes dropped to her phone, and she began receiving a text message. And replying to it.
Not interested in competing with something I refer to as a darn fool piece of apparatus, I shut up again. And remained so, once she'd finished being lost in textation.
After closing up her phone, I received another almost-annoyed "what?" look from her, followed by a casual "now, where were we?".
*TOING* The next is from memory:
Me: Apparently nowhere important.
Her: C'mon...you were saying?
Me: Nothing...don't want you to miss a text message.
Her: What's that supposed to mean?
Me: Don't let me interrupt your texting...
Her: You're being rude...(and she looks down at her phone again)
As she began to text again, I repressed a smirk and walked off, conversation incompleted.
I was rude?
There was a time that I would have taken exception to that comment. But, as I said, I am a technosaurus. Perhaps in this day and age, I reckon I am rude. Damn my ambivalence to texting etiquette. Someone whup me into shape here.
Just don't do it via text message. I might display further rudeness in reply from this Jurassic desktop ;-)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Coping With Death
*From my '05 archives, but something all of us will have to cope with, sooner or later*
..of a cherished member of the family.
It isn't like the loss of a loved one or a pet; it is, after all, nothing more than an electronic device. A modern telecommunication, data sending/receiving device. A wonder of technology thirty years ago, and now as common as the cold in American households.
In short, it's a darn fool piece of apparatus.
Until it dies.
I just finished reading a fellow writer's epic fight to resusitate her computer from a potentially fatal disease (aka, reloading a malfunctioning program). She spent hours on the phone with Gateway, Microsoft, Comcast and the Vatican, much of it with the issue in doubt, while paramedic-like support techs took her through all of their pre-programmed and scripted steps at diagnosing and fixing the problem. If they could.
Short of congressional intervention to determine if resusitation was warranted or not (to be followed by years of congressional committees and useless studies and blue ribbon commissions to determine environmental impacts and other less-than-useless nonsense, ad nauseum), the patient began to breathe on its' own again. Three Hail Marys and a reluctant nod to Bill Gates from my acquaintance.
The ACLU was not amused.
It reminded me of two members of my own cyberfamily who had passed on to the great salvage heap of electronicsdom. In one case, it was no more than replacing a modem that had died from Dialing Dysfunction Syndrome. But in the other case, it was truly traumatic.
The hard drive vaporlocked. Massive cybercoronary. No ER could save it; all the King's horses and all the King's men, couldn't make the stupid piece of apparatus boot up again. In the words of a EResque help desk tech, "It's dead, Jim...".
My name isn't Jim, but it was no less traumatic for the knowledge. The throes of mourning were devastating: I needed counselling (I didn't get it); I suffered sleep deprivation; my karma was torn asunder; I had lost my way (the curds I didn't care about); my life's path had been washed out. I stood on the precipice of an abysmal void, shorn of map and compass to show me the way clear.
So I did what any 30-something (at the time) pseudonerd would have done: I sought succor with wings and beer at a nearby Hooters. And took additional solace in that the night before, I had remembered to do my monthly back up of irreplaceable files on the hard drive.
With eyes a misting and a fresh mug of beer, I nodded to my ample waitress and imparted this benediction to my dearly departed darn fool piece of apparatus:
Here lies the carcass of my IBM PC
never again to syntax error at a quarter to 3;
for three years running, it served admirably
before it up and died with a motherboard-felt, "just byte me!".
*sniff*...it was quite moving. Until I tried to wipe my eyes on her t-shirt...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Homework eCON 101..a
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Guinea Pig II
Monday, September 14, 2009
Breakin' The Rules IV
It's Thursday, and good ol' Franky has apparently been stewing about the progress of things overnight, cuz he starts out Thursday with a burr up his bung:
HELLO TODAY IS THE 3RD DAY AND YOU ARE TELLING ME THE SAME STORY ABOUT YOU SENDING MONEY IF I DONT HEAR FROM YOU I WILL REPORT TO THE AUTHORITIES, HOW CAN YOU SEND MONEY IN WESTERN UNION AND THEY DONT GIVE YOU MTCN...TELL THAT LADY TO GIVE YOU THE MTCN NUMBER, WILL CONTACT AUTHORITIES AND MY BANK IF YOU GIVE ME SAME EXCUSE I WILL REPORT TO THE BANK AND THE POLICE, UNLESS THE NICE LADY TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LYING TO YOU GO TO THE LADY AND TELL HER TO GIVE YOU MTCN OF THE MONEY YOU GIVE HER TO SEND...I AM A SERIOUS MAN AND I DONT PLAY WITH MY WORDS
you gonna start today yell at me again and i wont not go!
MONK, GO DOWN TO MTCN AND GET THE INFORMATION, MY MOVERS ARE WAITING FOR THESE INFORMATION, UNLESS YOU ARE PLAYING WITH ME KINDLY GO DOWN QUICKLY
i will only if you stop yell at me...i dont not like it ok.
PLEASE GO DOWN TO WESTERN UNION AND GET THE MTCN IT IS IMPORTANT I DONT LIKE THE MOVERS COMPLAINING
ok ok...i go now ok.
OK I AM SORRY I YELL AT YOU, PLEASE GO BACK TO WESTERN UNION AND TELL THE NICE LADY THAT SHE PLEASE GIVE YOU MTCN SO THAT THE PEOPLE YOU SEND MONEY TOO CAN PICK THE MONEY...PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT THEY GIVE YOU THE MTCN TODAY...COMPLAIN TO THEM THAT YOU MISPLACED IT AND YOU NEED TO GET IT, IF THEY WANT MONEY FROM YOU TELL THEM THAT THEY SHOULD WITHDRAW FROM THE MONEY THAT YOU SEND IN WESTERN UNION
(time to ratchet up the screwing with Franky)
the lady at western union was not nice today. she get mad at me and tell me she already check that money was sign for after she sended it and i am wasting her time and to go home. i tell her i say this to you, and you yell at me and say movers didnt not get money, and she say that she has computer and you are stupid as i am to argue. she say she will call police if i come back about it. why does everyone want police? so franky, i do what you say, and this is what she say. what else can i do?
(Franky's composure is threadbare, me thinks)
LISSEN YOU STUPID IDIOT...I HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR GAMES. I WILL FIX YOU FOR THIS DO YOU UNDERSTAND??? I WILL FIX YOU FOR THIS JUST YOU WAIT
(so let's make it moreso)
what do you mean, fix me? i not broke.
MONK, YOU HAVE TO PAY THAT MONEY TO THE MOVER..IF NOT I WILL REPORT THESE CASE TO THE BANK THAT YOU PLAY FRAUD ON ME AND YOU KNOW THE POLICE WILL COME GET YOU GET THE MONEY FOR THE MOVERS IF NOT
i wont listen to you anymore. you mean. lady at western union say you lie. you mean and you make mean statements to me. you threaten to fix me when i not broke. i no listen to you any more. i send your mover money. i find another buyer for desk. phfffft. i have box of powder donuts i share with police when they come. police like donuts. i make friends with them. phffffft.
MONK YOU STOP THESE STUPID EMAILS NOW IF YOU SEND BACK MY MONEY FOR THE DESK I WONT CALL THE POLICE BUT IF YOU STOP THIS STUPID NONSENSE OR I WILL MAKE YOU PAY AND THE POLICE WILL BE THE LEAST OF YOUR WORRY OK?? GET THE MONEY BACK OR ELSE.
phffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft. i go to western union now to send you back 300. i do all you ask and you ack like jerk. you not scar me! i send you back 300 and we done. phffffffffffffffffffffffffffft!
(after about an hour to let Franky stew some more)
hear is yore 300 dollurs. we even now. phffffffffffffft.
(Monk sent Franky a copy of an old, irrelevant faux Western Union receipt, resized to the point that it's totally illegible).
TYPE THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE IN THE FORM.
you dont not tell me what to do! i wire your money. i send you receep. you cash it and leave me alone you mean man.
i can not see any thing on the paper please look at the paper and write out the money transfer control number please i beg you thank you
(LOL...now he's practically grovelling...gotta love how this is playing out)
you yell at me, you threaten me, you mean to me! i do what you say and still you mean! i send you money AND i send you receep. you take to western union and get your money. phfffffffffft.
ok I am sorry I just check the reciept and i cant read it well there are some numbers on the top right corner they are 10 in number please send me the nuber agin i am sorry for yelling at you.
no you arent not! you do it more than one. you threaten me with BFI and police! you apologize then you make threats again. you not sawry. you call me names. i do what you tell me. i do my best. you dont not apprecate me. i send you money back. you go western union and get it.
yes i would go but i need you to office but monk i honestly am sorry and i need you to send me the number on the top right corner of the reciept thats all i need pleeeeeassssssssssss...
i dont not beleeve you. you call me names and threaten me. if you sinsere, you not do that. you not sinsere. you have what you need from me. you go western union.
hey i am sorry ok!! give me the number on the top corner of the reciept now
see??? i knowd you arent not sawry. you have receep. it what you say you need. now go cash it.
and send me another and bolder version of the reciept
i not have to do no more. what is a bolder version? what does a big rock have to do? this makes no sence.
monk, i can not read it the reciept is no clear from here send again.
it is what i copy. it what my computer scan in. you yell at my computer now?
send me the number
(Franky finally gets mad again)
ALL THE INFORMATION IN THE PAPER YOU SENT TO ME IN COMPUTER I CAN NOT READ ANY WRITE OUT EVERYTHING YOU SEE ON PAPER TYPE IT IN YOUR COMPUTER AND SEND TO ME
no. you say something about numbers. what numbers? i not copy hole receep.
IN THE RECIEPT YOU SEND ME THERE IS A NUMBER THERE TYPE THE NUMBER IN YOUR COMPUTER AND SEND ME AND HOW MUCH YOU SEND TO MY MOVER.
there are all kind of number on the sheet. what number you mean? how hard is this to explain?
OK MONK...WRITE EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THE PAPER TO ME..WRITE EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THE PAPER TO ME...WRITE EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THE PAPER TO ME...WRITE EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THE PAPER TO ME..
no. you make fun of me. you use receep i send you. phfffffffffft.
Monk...write the security number to pick up money.
what is this number? wear is number?
it is the number they gave to you it is called the money transfer security code
wear is this number on the paper?
when you pay they gave you 2 papers, 1 a reciept 2 a plain paper printed from computer did they give you these papers?
i send you copy of the paper! wear is number on paper?
it is writen after the amount sent
there are ten number. whih one you want?
can you scan the paper again because i can not see any thing on paper it is not clear on my computer here
i already scan it. whih number you need?
write out the ten let me see them, and hw much you send
i write 10...i send 300.
write out the ten numbers you say you see..
1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..0..those are numbers i see
yes, write the 10 out
do you see other numbers there apart from this one you write and you surpose to send $1200 not 300 i send 1500 and your desk 300 so 1200 should remain
gee wiz..i already tell you! i send 1125 to you mover that the lady at western union say was picked up. i send you the 300 for the desk you wont not send movers to pick up. dont you not read what i write?
go on yahoo messenger so we can chat and i explain better to you.
i undersand ok. what number you want. i write you ten. is that all?
no that is not number the number is like this 9673471235 this is the kind of number because when you go to western union you will fill form and put the number in the form
i didnt not put that number on the form. they did. and that wasnt the number, that was a bunch of numbers. whih do you want?
the bunch of numbers they gave you is what i want for the 300 and for the 1125 the numbers they gave you
i dont not know that numbers for the 1125 the lady told me that money collected so i dont not have that numbers. i have the numbers for the 300. whih one you want?
let me have the number for the 300 they give you
whih one. there is 10 of them.
yes, let me have them all of them
well..there are three 1s, two 0s, a 5, two 3s, a 7 and a 9. i guess that all of them.
(now he thinks he's making progress)
who is the name is it of my mover Denise mcalhaney you send money to?
no..i send the collected money to that Jon with the funny last name and he pick it up. the 300 i send to you. who is denise? (Denise is the second mover he sent for Monk to use)
you say your name as sende monk bey?
that is dumb thing you say...what name else would i use?
is this the number they give you 1110053379 at western union for the 300?
those numbers in there, yes. not in that order, but yes.
sorry because i check with the number you give me on western union website and it say no money there
where it go? is this a problem with western union? it make me not want to use it.
what order were they help me please i see you are tell me the truth sorry for yelling send me in the correct order
the correct order was i tell them to send you 300. did they lose it too?
can you give me the number the way it is written on the paper for the 300 please
can you please give me the number the way it writen on the paper please?
Monk, can you please give me the number as it is written on the paper?
so will you write it well for me now monk?
oh ok. first i have to pee.
common monk i need the information before somebody pick the money again like they pick the 1125
ok...could someone pick up your money without you?
(now I think I'm wearing him down...)
monk were are you from asia? or america?
wear is asia? is that a planet or an iland?
if you do not give me the information on time some one will pick it up like they pick up the 1125 so send me the number in the correct order
but isnt not someone soupose to pick it up? i confuse.
are you a real monk? or is that just ur name?
huh...my parents call me monk. it short for monkton. i like monk.
monk, get me number in the right order
do numbers have odor to them? i didnt not know that.
(and Franky finally *snaps* with Monk..)
look i am trying to help you out of a problem here my bank called me and asked if i authorised any payment and i have not replied them. if i say i havent authorised any payment your bank would call you and ask you to pay back that money and if i my mover doesn't pick up the money i would ask my bank to reufnd the total amount of 1500 which you would pay if you dont give me the mtcn number cus it looks like you are playing games with me i give you a simple instrucion and you are asking me foolish questions like does money have odor. if i may ask how old are you? get me that mtcn number or i will call my bank monkton bey or whatever you call your self cus you look like you want to get your self into trouble
i not look for trouble, franky. i am happy go lucky person. i tried to help you and you dont not do what you should to have. that not my problem you can go back to threaten me if you want. your money is wear western union send it to and who ever collected it. you can talk tough to me, but i not care. i do right thing and you have to except this. phffffft. i say that when i not impress with you making threat. phffffft. call your bank. call my bank. call every bank. bank bank bank bank bank.
(yep...Franky's had enough of Monk)
ok i would do just that but dont mail me asking to call them back cus you are just about to start your troubles...monkton my asssssss
oh, you threaten me some more? kewl. i cant not wait for you to make trouble for me, franky. i not feard of you. i laugh at you. hahahahaha you silly, silly man.
Franky would respond no more, so I look forward to what Franky thinks will be trouble for me, since his check was verified as fraudulent by Corporate Security at the bank on which it was allegedly drawn. Yup...oughta be interestin, I reckon.
Anyway, Franky's originally intended victim is happy. I'm happy. I hope you're happy. I know Franky isn't. Especially since I've been sending him "phfffffffffffffffffft" emails ever since we finished (about 3 dozen up to now) ;-)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Breakin' The Rules III
This was three days of absurdity, folks. I loved every minute of it.
Because the number of email exchanges that took place in three days exceeded my most amused expectations -- over 100 -- I will forego some of my more wisebackside analysis, and just go with the to 'n fro, as it actually happened. I'll start with my first email to Franky Drake on Monday, Labor Day. Franky's emails will be in bold; Monk's responses, in italics:
Deer Mr. Franky i am pleesed to have speeks with you. my friend you bye desk frum is happy four yore check, but we didnt not expect so much money frum you to pay. i have desk in my garage which is why my friend have you send check hear. i have never use this western union thing befour to send money, but i will cash check tuesday and will ask bank how to do this four you.
Good to know your payment was delivered to you today via courier services. please I want you to have the moving funds wired to my mover today as soon as you have the check cashed so that they will be able to facilitate the pick up arrangement. You're to deduct the Western union sending fee from the remaining fund you will be sending to my mover after you have deducted the money for the item plus the extra $50 for taking the ad down (the rest was instructions for where the wire transfer was to go).
Mr. Franky, thanks to you four this informations. pleese to know that i cannot cash the check today it is holidey and my bank is not open. but tuesday i will get to works on this.
Ok, That's good by me kindly do that immediately so that the movers could come in immediately.
(now, we jump to the morning of Tuesday, September 8, when the fun truly begins)
Mr. Franky, i have done what you have asked of me. since you know wear i live, pleese to tell your mover how to find me to give him desk.
Please could i have the mtcn information and senders name including senders address to that i may send it to the mover to facilitate the pick up of the desk.
Mr. Franky, but you have my name and wear i live. i send money as you tell me. tell yore mover to come get desk now.
GIVE ME ALL THE INFORMATION THAT WESTERN UNION GAVE TO YOU SO THAT I CAN GIVE THE MOVER THE INFORMATION BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT COME IF HE HAS NOT SEEN THE MONEY. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER SO THAT I WILL CALL YOU. PLEASE SEND THE INFORMATION WESTERN UNION GAVE TO YOU.
Mr. Franky, what informations? i give them money and they send money like i ask. what information are you asking me for? i sent the money as you say to send!
HELLO, DID YOU GO TO WESTERN UNION LIKE I TOLD YOU, IF YES THEN DID THEY GIVE YOU A RECIEPT...IF SO CHECK THE RECIEPT AND SEND ME THE MTCN NUMBER; THE SENDERS NAME AND SENDERS ADDRESS, PLEASE SEND ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER SO THAT I CAN CALL YOU WITHOUT THESE INFORMATION MY MOVER CANNOT COME SO PLEASE GET BACK TO ME.
Franky, i go to western union like you say, and i send the money like you say. i ask the nice lady there if after she take money and give me paper, am i done now, and she say yes, so i leave. i did not keep paper she give me. i thought i was done so i throw it away. did i need that?
HELLO MONK...PLEASE GO BACK TO WESTERN UNION AND GET THE PAPER INFORMATION WITHOUT THAT INFORMATION THE MOVER CANNOT PICK UP THE MONEY GO BACK TO THE WOMAN AND GET THE INFORMATION NOW SO THAT THE MOVER CAN COME QUICKLY AND PICK UP THE MONEY. YOU NEEDED THAT PAPER....
Franky, i needed that paper? i'm sawry!!! i will go right now back to western union and see the lady i saw. she was very nice lady. i sure she help me!
GO NOW AND PICK THE INFORMATION PLEASE SO THAT MY MOVER CAN PICK THE MONEY....HURRY!!!
Franky, i'm sawry!!! the nice lady i work with was not there and the other clerk there, he was not very nice at all, he call me stupid and tell me i need papers so now he tell me come back Wednesday to see the lady who work with me because he say he too busy to help a stupid person??? i sawry i mess up...i fix it tomorrow!
ITS QUITE SAD THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED LOOK FOR WERE YOU THREW THE PAPER TAKE YOUR TIME AND LOOK FOR WERE YOU THREW IT...I AM SURPRISED.
Franky, i did not think of what you say! i will go see if i can find it right now!
YOU BETTER DO AND STOP PLAYING WITH ME MONK, I DONT LIKE THESE THINGS YOU TELLING ME. LET ME HAVE YOUR PHONE NUMBER.
i am not give you my phone number. you want to yell at me. i say i sawry. i going to look for papers now.
MONK YOU GO AHEAD AND LOOK FOR THE PAPERS PLS
...and then from Franky...
Any luck with finding the paper? get back to me with the situation report.
Franky, i'm sawry but i couldnt not find the paper. the trash can i throw it in was full but i could not find the paper in there. i will have to go back to western union wedesnday to see the lady clerk who helped me. i will go when they open in the morning. i promise i will.
Plese do that first thing in the morning and lets hope for the best ok. I am sorry for sounding harsh but you have to understand my position I would be watiing for the information as soon as you get it.
And so ended Tuesday. Wednesday, it begins with an email from Franky, changing up the mover to send the Western Union to; instead of one in Littleton, CO, he switches it to a mover in Ft. Myers, Florida. Hmmmmmmmm. Anyway, he instructs Monk to take those instructions with him to Western Union. We resume:
Franky, can i do that? can she send the money to someone new, when she already sended it to someone else? i didnt not know she could do this. kewl. i will take this instrukt with me to give to the lady at western union.
ANY NEWS YET, DO YOU HAVE THE INFORMATION?
Franky, the nice lady was there that hepl me yesterday and i tell her my mistake. she very understanding and she take care of everything so it is all good now. she tell me money is delivered to your mover, so i am going to wait for them to come to pick up the desk now.
TELL THE NICE LADY TO GIVE YOU THE MTCN NUMBER SO THAT MY MOVER CAN PICK THE MONEY, THE MOVER WENT TO WESTERN UNION AND THEY REQUEST THE MTCN NUMBER WITHOUT THAT NUMBER MY MOVER CANNOT COME I TELL YOU SO MANY TIMES MY MOVER CANNOT PICK UP THE MONEY WITHOUT THAT MTCN NUMBER TELL HER YOUR MISPLACED THE PAPER AND SHE SHOULD HELP YOU GET THE MTCN FOR MY MOVER TO PICK UP THE MONEY...IF YOU DON'T DO THESE I TAKE IT THAT YOU ARE LYING TO ME...
and then, Franky follows with:
I AM BEGINING TO LOOK AT IT THAT YOU ARE LYING TO ME, YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU SEND THE MONEY AND YOU DO NOT HAVE MTCN NUMBER FOR MY MOVER. NOW I WILL MAKE THINGS EASY FOR YOU GO TO WWW.WESTERNUNION.COM AND CLICK TRACKING YOU WILL KNOW THAT I NEED THE MTCN NUMBER FOR MY MOVERS TO TRACK MONEY. IF YOU DONT GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY WITH THAT INFOMRATION I WILL TO SEE IT THAT YOU STEAL MY MONEY AND I WOULD INFORM THE AUTHORITIES OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Franky, i dont not like it when you yell at me. i did what you say and the nice lady was very friendly and understanding. she check and say that the money i had sent had been signed for by, she assume, the mover you told me to send it to the first time. so i came home to wait for the mover to show up but he dont not show and you send me mean email. i unhappy now. i do what you tell me, but you mean to me.
MONK I AM BEGINING TO GET REALLY UPSET WITH YOU AND IF YOU DONT SEND ME THAT MTCN NUMBER I WOULD HAVE TO REPORT YOU TO THE FBI AS A FRAUDULENT PERSON. I GAVE YOU A SIMPLE INSTRUCTION WOTHOUT THE MTCN NUMBER THE MONEY CAN NOT BE PICKED UP. GET THAT MTCN NUMBER AND GET BACK TO ME SOON AS YOU HAVE DON THESE.
you stop yelling at me. i do what i told, and the lady at western union say the money i send yesterday was picked up. it was the mover you told me the first time. i did what i was told. dont you not call the police on me!
go to your yahoo messenger lets chat i would buzz you.
no...you yell at me. you apologize for yell at me. i log off until you apologize.
AS OF NOW I AM GOING TO FOWARD YOUR ADDRESS TO THE POLICE IF YOU DO NOT GIVE ME THAT MTCN NUMBER CUS THERE IS NO REASON WHY THE MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PICKED UP
you a mean man...the western union lady say money is picked up. you have no right to call police.
now i am going to ask me bank to withdrew th efunds and your bank would have to call you to pay back the money if you do not give me the required information in the next six hours. i think you are a scammer.
(there was only one answer for that)
MR MONK, WHAT I NEED IS THE THAT CODE NUMBER CALLED MTCN NUMBER FOR MY MOVER TO PICK THE MONEY...PLEASE TELL THE LADY TO GIVE IT TO YOU.
you mean to me...why should i go back and ask her anything? she tell me the money was claimed. i send it to your first mover. i think you are trying to take advant of me. why you so mean?
I told you again my mover can not pick up the money without the MTCN number, so go back and collect the number from the nice lady...please.
if you not mean to me in the morning, i will go ask her. but she already tell me money picked up, so i dont not understand.
my mover told me he as not pick up the money so what are you saying monk...please go back and as the nice lady that i said she should verify the money again and give you the code that is MTCN NUMBER FOR MY MOVER TO PICK UP THE MONEY OK
only if you be nicer to me. i no like mean peoples. you be nice, i go ask her in morning.
OK MONK I WILL BE NICE TO YOU PLEASE JUST MAKE SURE YOU COLLECT THE NUMBER FOR ME TO GIVE MY MOVER TO PICK UP THE MONEY TOMORROW OK.
i go at eigt oclock to western union to talke with lady again. i hope she wont not yell at me.
And if you thought this was absolutely absurd, wait until Thursday... and Part IV.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Breakin' the Rules II
A friend on Facebook was trying to sell a computer roll top desk on Craigslist. Asking price was $300. In a short time, she received an offer from a Franky Drake, who offered to courier her a check for the item.
My friend -- from the verbiage of Franky's email -- smelled a rat. And in smelling a rat, she sought a good counter: a skunk.
She forwarded everything to me I needed. And I decided to break one of those cardinal rules of scambait engagement: I told her to give Franky my mailing address to have the check couriered to, and have it made out to "Monk" (and a variation on my last name).
Later the day she did this, Franky acknowledged receipt, and indicated the check would be couriered within 48 hours. And sure enough, upon my arrival home from work two days later, neatly tucked under my door mat, was a FedEx.
And inside...a check for five times the agreed to price.
The game was so on.
I told my friend to notify Franky that "Monk" wouldn't be available until later on Monday, September 7, but was confused by the size of the check and the lack of instructions on what to do with it. Franky was quick to send "Monk" instructions on what to do with it.
Now, a quick review (there'll be a pop quiz, later): a roll top desk for $300. A buyer named Franky, with dubious email grammatical skills, who sends a check without confirming shipping instructions. A FedEx package from a different named person in Robesonia, Pennsylvania. A check from a bank in Cherry Hill, NJ. A check from a business account in Long Island City, NY. And a check for five times the agreed-to price.
And to top it off, Franky wants the overage (his secretary's mistake, of course) Western Unioned to his mover in Littleton, CO.
Got all that? Good.
Now, a little quick research by yours truly, determined that (A) the named person who allegedly sent the FedEx package from the address in Robesonia, PA, doesn't reside there (no surprise), and wasn't named Franky Drake.
(B) The company the check is accredited to -- ViaNY, Inc, in Long Island City, NY -- is "a shipping and maritime services supplier" from....*drum roll*....Nigeria. And the company's web link is....*drum roll*....broken.
(C) The bank where the checking account is, does exist; but not the listed branch on the check, in Cherry Hill, NJ. And the corporate security official I spoke with verified in about 5 seconds the authenticity of the check's fraudulence ;)
So them's the bona fides. Next up in Breakin' The Rules III...it's Monk vs Franky.
Monday, September 7, 2009
A Tale of Two Catmonsters
It is the best of tales, it is the worst of tales.
When you think of cats, do you conjure up something purring and cuddly, or insta-maniacal? Speaking for me, my image of a cat is a feline mix of arrogance and tazmanian devil, with elements of an ex-girlfriend or two. An animal capable of turning on the charm in one instant, and the harm seconds later. A creature whose Prozac-needing personality demands to be the center of attention, only to shift to "leave me alone before I gouge your eyes out", in a hummingbird heartbeat.
Such as been my experience with cats and girlfriends down the years, but I digress on the latter.
A younger brother has excelled at acquiring maniacal cats in his home. One had a peculiar love of being spun around in a revolving chair until so dizzy, the cat would fall to the floor, flop a spell, then jump up and wait impatiently for another ride. But that was mild in contrast to his late cat, a Siamese/kamikaze mix he named Meiko. Meiko, my brother tells me, is Japanese for 'witch'.
Meiko apparently grasped this early on, and lived up to it in full. Just ask my brother's neighborhood. It is recommended you do so from another area code.
And yet another 'catmonster' has come to my attention: somewhere in the idyllic 'burbs of Austin, TX, resides a cyberacquaintance of mine. She loves animals. She has at least five. Three big, labrador-type dogs. One cowardly, often-sullen cat, annoyed at having to share the domicile with three of the latter "lower" life forms. And last but not least, her other cat, one she freely refers to as her "catmonster".
This "catmonster" is named Phoenix Orangello Clifton Maxwell Chaos IV, or "Jello" for short. Jello is a mixed Siamese/mutt cat. At 15 pounds, a big cat. One that can announce his entry into a room by the advanced vibration of his footfall, like a t-rex. A cat that thinks he's a dog, when it's of benefit to him to think so. The real dogs aren't inclined to argue.
To hear her tell it, Jello is far from an ordinary cat. Ordinary cats deem a hanging role of toilet paper to be fair game; Jello prefers and specializes in mauling fax paper. Ordinary cats usually provide the dogs with exercise in the form of "chase me"; in this house, it's Jello who does the chasing, at his convenience. Ordinary cats distain chasing tennis balls; Jello is annoyed because he can only retrieve one at a time. Ordinary cats know their place in the universe: at the center of it.
Jello believes the universe is there ONLY through his marginal forebearance.
On an infamous day in domicilic dystranquility, Jello had apparently found a new entrant to his universe: a rather large millar of Mothra dimensions (or so my acquaintance, in drama-queen style, described it). With no thought to potential consequences -- rank heresy for a cat of Jello's stature -- Jello brought his new 'plaything' into the house for a little millar time 'catch and release'. Mothra apparently entertained another option, and managed a daring aerial escape to a seemingly secure perch on top of the drapes in the living room, to my acquaintance's horror.
Jello took it as merely a minor obstacle to be overcome.
While my friend pondered what to do about a 'thing' with an F-16 wing span, Jello began a thoroughly-focused ascent. Starting with the stereo cabinet, Jello maneuvered his 15 lb bulk into position, and then made for his next point of approach: a nearby wall clock. With a deft and agile move, he negotiated the distance between cabinet and clock with the skill of a mountain goat.
Jello was now poised to retrieve the suddenly not-so-smug Mothra.
My acquaintance was slow to notice the route chosen by Jello, more afraid of the oversized millar that was fanning the curtains and anything else within wing shot; but seeing where Jello was now positioned, she grasped the significance more quickly than the Mothra-focused cat. Jello -- all 15 lbs of him -- was atop the wall clock now, seeking position from which to leap into Mothra's world. Jello -- a cat of the universe -- was not, however, a cat of physics. He quite failed to appreciate load stresses on a single nail, and the laws of gravity. And just as Jello made one minor adjustment before making that Mothra-retrieval leap, undeniable laws of Nature dared to insert themselves into the equation.
The nail gave way.
Thoroughly familiar with Jello's reckless abandon, my acquaintance had managed to position herself to, just barely, save the clock from an untimely end at the hands of the floor. It was the fate of the floor, having no place to go, and no options available, to have to absorb the impact of Jello. Mothra chose the moment of supreme commotion to make good an escape that led directly back to the great out-of-doors, with a tale to tell it's off-spring, about another very "off"sprung.
Personally, I'm pleased that I was able to hear of this anecdote from afar. I am just as pleased that there were no casualties as a result, other than an overstressed nail and my frazzled acquaintance.
But it did occur to me, the serious potential for CATastrophe, if Jello and Meiko had ever joined forces back then. More than just Mothra would have been wise to give what'd be left of that neighborhood a pass.