Phish Food Update

On Tuesday night, I think I was the target of a new phishing scam, so I am updating my page about phishingHere is the new part:

(2012 update) Phishing can happen over the phone, as well as by e-mail. Case in point: Recently I got a strange phone call that showed up on my caller ID as 202-011-3341. When I answered it, a guy with a heavy Indian accent told me he was from "Microsoft Windows Help," claimed that my computer was infected with a virus, and that I needed to turn it on.

I hung up after arguing for half a minute. Too many warning signals were touched off by that call. First, there were too many voices in the background; it sounded more like a boiler room operation than your typical customer service center. Second, in the past I have gotten technical support from an Indian company called iYogi, but when they call, they use a toll-free number, not a number from the 202 area code. IYogi’s technicians speak better English, too. Third, no American phone number starts with a zero; they probably masked the real number from my caller ID. Fourth, I have used Microsoft products since the mid-1990s, but I can’t remember Microsoft ever calling me; I always called them.

Just to be on the safe side, I gave my computer a complete virus scan afterwards. It didn’t surprise me a bit when no bugs or malware turned up. I also Googled the phone number, and found others reporting it as coming from a scam artist. I’m sure that if I had complied with the caller’s demands, they would have taken control of my computer, for whatever mischief they had in mind.

Aside from the phisher calling me, this is the same type of scam as phishing by e-mail; the goal is identity theft, or to infect another computer. Fortunately my antivirus software is up to date, and I have identity theft protection for a worst case scenario.

New Study Shows Need, Demand for Legal Services By Working Americans and Families

At one time or another, most of us have legal issues.  You don’t have to do anything wrong; these can include adoption, getting a will done, signing a contract or dealing with getting overcharged.  I have the service you need for that.  Read about the study in the link below, from the Austin American Statesman.

New Study Shows Need, Demand for Legal Services By Working Americans and Families.

Where to Go For Python Pizza

I should have known somebody would try to solve the python problem this way.  The Burmese python has become a serious problem in my brother’s part of Florida, threatening to eat every mammal in sight:  raccoons, deer, Florida panthers.  Everything except the skunk ape, because naturally it’s out of sight.  Yet it is an endangered species back in Southeast Asia.  Why?  The people there are eating them up (see my message from last August 14).

Python-topped pizza gives area restaurant taste of Everglades » Naples Daily News.

This Will Get the Dog to Play With You

Of course everyone here in Lexington is happy at yesterday’s announcement about the University of Kentucky hiring a new football coach.  The previous coach, Joker Phillips, was a nice guy, but he only won one game out of three, and this year’s football season was so bad that it came as no surprise when UK let him go.  Nor was it a good sign when the smaller colleges that beat UK, like Western Kentucky University, made T-shirts commemorating the game; we only do that when the UK Wildcats win a bowl game or the championship!

The new coach, Mark Stoops, is a defensive coordinator at Florida State, and just the reputation of that team is raising hopes here.  I am also pleased because of my brother’s involvement with FSU; I wrote about that in my messages from August 9, 2009; September 20, 2010; and November 5, 2011.

The strangest news of the day has to be the announcement of a bacon-scented shaving cream.  Only 2,500 jars of the stuff have been made, and are on sale here for $14.99.  Shave with it, and you’ll smell like bacon for hours.  Here’s what the website says about it.  Quote:

J&D’s Bacon Shaving Cream is a high end, luxurious bacon-scented shaving cream for all skin types. It is best used after a hot shower or before an important date with someone you may want to spend the rest of your life with.

Unquote:  Sure, we like the scent of bacon, and in redneck country I’m sure it will sell.  But is that something that will really attract your date?  It’s more likely to get the attention of a dog or cat; that’s why I said it will make the dog play with you.

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Speaking of products that attract pets, is there something that will make my parrot like me?  Brin-Brin always liked Leive better, so if I am on the main floor of the house and she isn’t, Brin-Brin will growl most of the time, and snap when I come near the cage.  He only seems to tolerate my presence when he is hungry.

But a new coach and bacon shaving cream aren’t the biggest story of the day.  That would have to be the Powerball lottery, which has a lot of folks going crazy, now that the jackpot is at an unprecedented $550 million.  The drawing will be held in a few minutes, so by the time you read this, we will probably know if there is a winner.

I did have to stand in line behind some folks buying lottery tickets at the gas station today, but I didn’t buy one.  I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life, and even now I don’t plan to start.  To me it always seemed like a tax on the dumb, or at least on those who have trouble with math.  For every winner there must be thousands or in this case, millions of losers; the odds of winning this one are 1 in 175 million.  You are more likely to get hit by lightning than you are to win the lottery; or as we used to say in Florida, you’re more likely to get hit by a falling tile from the Space Shuttle.  See you tomorrow!

The Elvish Weather Report

At the end of October, I gave a couple of examples of the Middle-Earth hype going on in New Zealand, as Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” comes to theaters worldwide.  Now here is the latest example, a weather forecast done in Elvish!

I was impressed when my favorite weather site, Wunderground.com, offered a Latin translation of its pages.  Will Sindarin, or any other language invented by Tolkien, be next?  How about Klingon, or Tsolyani?

A Mixed-up Weekend

The last time I wrote about my adventures in Kentucky was before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, so this message is an update.

First of all, we didn’t have Thanksgiving on the normal day and time, because Gene & Rezia went to see Gene’s family in western Kentucky, and Leive didn’t want to cook when only the two of us were around to eat.  Thus, I went out to get ingredients even on Thanksgiving Day itself (Leive couldn’t get enough of the deal Meijer offered, sweet potatoes for 25 cents a pound!).

Despite all the hoopla, I skipped out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday altogether.  In happier times I barely participated in those shopping sprees, so why would I want to take part when I’m out of work?  Besides, it’s too much when people plan their holidays around shopping trips, instead of the other way around.  Last week on the radio, a local talk show host predicted that soon some businesses will offer after-Christmas specials beginning on the evening of December 25.

I did go out on those days, but it was to prospect for my LegalShield business.  I even paid Winchester a visit.  So far LegalShield has only 9,000 members in Kentucky, though the population is more than four million.  And most of the members are in Louisville, Frankfort and Lexington, so the rest of the state is a virgin market for us.  We have talked for the past couple of years about expanding beyond the I-64 corridor, and before my trip to Connecticut, I prospected in Paris and Georgetown for that reason.  This year, however, there are other associates working those towns, so now I have picked out Clark County as my target area; I try to visit Winchester once a week.  And because I live on the east side of Lexington, Winchester is closer than Paris and Georgetown, too.

Saturday was the coldest day yet, with a high of 36 degrees and a low of 21.  That’s a cold November even by Kentucky standards.  Still no snow, though.  The good news is that the last of the leaves fell from most of the trees this weekend, so I can finish raking the front yard.  The weatherman warned of possible snow last night, but this time the temperature stayed above freezing, so we got a quarter inch of rain instead.

Leive finally did her Thanksgiving cooking on Sunday, but because Rezia was ill, she did not come even then.  Instead, Gene brought an eight-year-old friend from the church.  Here is what Leive prepared:

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Turkey (already sliced and with gravy), green beans with onions, and pancit (Philippine noodles).

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And here in the foreground are mashed potatoes and fried rice.  Leive was especially happy at how the mashed potato recipe turned out.  To the left are some lumpias (Philippine egg rolls); she fried some more after this picture was taken.

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And don’t forgot our crazy bird, Brin-Brin.  He was there, too, but unfortunately he started screaming in the middle of the meal and Leive gave him a time-out (she covered the cage).  Oh well, Gene is his nemesis, so he is never happy when Gene is here.  He even gets upset, if Rezia comes over alone.

Now that the month is ending on an unexpected note, will the year end with something different, too?

More Than Just Lincoln

Tom Eblen: In ‘Lincoln,’ forgotten Kentucky congressman plays a pivotal role | Movies | Kentucky.com.

I had heard my friends say some great things about the new Lincoln movie (not Abe Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter!), but this article from the local newspaper settles it.  The movie is as much about Kentucky as it is about our 16th president.  Now I will have to see it, too.  Quote:

“I hope to have God on my side,” Abraham Lincoln remarked in 1861, “but I must have Kentucky.”

Indeed, Steven Spielberg’s new movie, Lincoln, makes it clear that the 16th president needed his home state up to the very end of the Civil War.

Kentucky is all over this terrific drama. Daniel Day Lewis stars as Lincoln, who was born in what is now Larue County, and Sally Field portrays Mary Todd Lincoln of Lexington. Field even spent time in Lexington to prepare for her role.

Early in the film, Lincoln is seen talking with two black soldiers who mention they enlisted at Camp Nelson in Jessamine County. A constant presence in the movie is the ticking of a watch that Lincoln owned — recorded at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort, where it is part of the collection.

Unquote:  Click on the above link to read the rest of the article.