Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Very Poor Scam

I am on the receiving end of an email scam attempt almost every day.  I open and read very few and never click on a link.  But once in a while I am tempted to at least see what someone has to say.  Today was such a day, and what I found was so laughable I feel the need to share it with you.  This is exactly as I received it:

Subject:  U.S. Department of the Treasury...Your Funds
From:  Mr. Michael Cena

U.S. Department of the Treasury...Your Funds
Office of Foreign Assets Lodgings of U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220


I am writing to inform you that today at the Foreign Assets Treasury Lodgings of U.S. Department of the Treasury Washington, DC we received and acknowledged your inheritance funds via cash consignment box from United Nations (UN) Association of London, United Kingdom Liaison Office valued at $10.5 MillionDollars.  I deem necessary to inform you that the retrieving of your inheritance was witnessed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Interpol envoys deployed to London by United States Department of the Treasury to monitor the proceedings confirmed it to be a fair judgment of the Bureau and the Interpol as the outcome of the event was a perfect solution to curtail the activities of con artist and scam generally and is also a perfect end to your payment.  Your Beneficiary Funds that was allotted into cash consignment baggage is now been deposited in our pecuniary vault the Foreign Assets Treasury Lodgings of U.S. Department of the Treasury Washington, DC. 

The proceed of these event was successful because the United Kingdom PrimeMinister Gordon Brown, dedicated his time to guarantee success to it due to his fight to eradicate deception, corruptions and terrorism's that has deeply rooted in government and the people and it was also an achievement for him to meet the deadline given at the G8 Summit in Tokyo to clear outstanding Beneficiary debts and Lottery Wining Debts.  Hence you have to contact my office for further clarifications to this matter with below e-mail address:

(Inserted here was a five line address)

Before we commence any further on issues concerning your consignment you are to reconfirm your banking address and also reconfirm your residential address as stated below.  Only Fill the Bank Address If You Want To Receive the Consignment Boxes at your Bank.

Full Name:
Residence Address:
Bank Address: (Not Necessary)
Current Occupation:
Cell Phone Number:
Contadct Telephone Numbers:
Any Form of Prove of Identification:
Current Age:

At the receipt of the above information we will not hesitate to open communication with you given you vital information for easy communication between you and the U.S. Treasury.  Be well informed that before we commence the delivery of your cash consignment baggage to your proposed bank address as stated on your pervious correspondence the vital legal paperwork's that we need to execute a perfect delivery known as "Stamp of Duty Paperwork's and Permission Order Papers will cost you the sum of $830.00USD for the paperwork's to be procured and only reply if you are ready to claim your consignment box and issued the paper works to me immediately With The private e-mail (mrmichaelcena1980@8u8.com).

Thank you very much  SINCERELY YOURS


End Message

Now, how about that for an offer you couldn't refuse?

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Frank Rich writes in today's Times that all this talk about Obama doing badly is wrong.  He says that Obama has held steady and let the Washington and TV pundit's blather about how many mistakes he's made wash over him.  Just like he did during the campaign.

I hope Rich is right.  I have to admit that I've bought into the notion that he's off track.  I've been upset because:

1.  His commitment to bipartisanship has been a bust.
2.  He let the Republicans put too many tax cuts in the stimulus bill.
3.  He hasn't repudiated Bush on extraordinary rendition but has equivocated on getting rid of it.
4.  He hasn't repudiated Bush on warrantless wiretapping but in fact has argued for a continuation of the Bush policy in court.
5.  He told us Geitner would have the mother of all bank bailout speeches and it didn't happen.
6.  Asking Judd Gregg to be Commerce Secretary made no sense.
7.  The Tom Daschle fiasco was a mistake and was handled badly.
8.  He's spent too much time  praying in public.

Yes, I know some good things have happened - on the environment, on education spending, on relations with the Muslim world, on energy, and more.  But after all these years of being angry and frustrated I want everything that should happen and was promised to happen now.

Like I said, I hope Frank Rich is right.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


At about this time of year we try to remember to visit the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park to see the magnolias in bloom.  The goal is to see them at their peak.  Until this year we've never succeeded.  We've either been too early or too late.  After missing out last year we vowed that next time would be different.  And it is.

We had a plan, and thanks to some rigorous time management by Sandra we've made it happen. We'd begin weekly visits to the park in mid-January and continue until most of the petals had dropped from the trees.  

It has been wonderful.  A few weeks ago buds were beginning to open, pink ones.  A close look at the thousands of still-to-open buds was a promise for the future.  Each week it gets better and better.  Some trees are in full bloom.  The white magnolias,  for reasons I don't understand, are later but also beginning to bloom.  My guess is that next week will prove to be the height of the season, but we shall see.

I assume the trees bloom at different times every year, depending on temperature, rain, sun, etc.  So it's not possible to say this date or another will for sure be the best.  We noticed that there was a docent-led walking tour a week ago advertised as the walk when the trees would be at their best.  But of course we experts know that wasn't to be the case.

The glorious camelias and rhodedendrums, also in bloom, are added bonuses.  Springtime in the park (well I guess this is pre-Springtime) is a season of wonder and beauty.  If we're smart we'll do a repeat performance next year.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Taking Stock

I've been tongue-tied recently.  Or I could call it writer's block.  Whatever - every day I think about what I have to say and every day I don't say it.  So this is more to say something than it is to say something I'm dying to say.

Usually my first thoughts are about what hasn't pleased me:

--  The stimulus bill is too small and relies too much on tax cuts.
--  The state budget is 14 weeks overdue and those jerks in Sacramento can't get their act together.
--  A-Rod used steroids.  So what else is new?
--  The Israelis had an election.  Anybody wanna bet this will change anything?
--  David Beckham would rather play in Milan than return to L.A.
--  In Africa, children are dying from food poisoning and war and more.
--  Missile strikes kill innocent civilians.
--  Obama hasn't moved fast enough on this or that or the other thing.
--  Etcetera, etcetera . . .

And then I remember what pleases me and what I have to be thankful for:

--  Sunrise and the bridge were beautiful this morning.
--  Sandra and I celebrated 35 years together this week.
--  My new HD TV is stunning.
--  I received messages from many good friends recently.
--  I enjoy a safe, tranquil life.
--  Our plans to visit Iran and Syria in April are moving ahead.
--  I will celebrate my 76th birthday in 11 days.
--  I am bathed in countless blessings.

I realize that what upsets me are mostly things about which I can do little other than be upset.

I also realize that what pleases me are so many items close to home - and I am thankful.