April 30, 2003

Phony PayPal E-mail Scam

This is the third time in as many days that I have received this phony e-mail that looks like it's an official PayPal e-mail. I do have a PayPal account. I didn't fall for it, though. I had heard about this particular scam over on Computer Cops forums. I would never send information like this via e-mail anyway. I forwarded the e-mails, with the complete headers to PayPal's security division. I hope that no one falls for this.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2003

Hell Revisited

I decided to take the same route home, that I did yesterday. There are other ways to get home. But, I felt that lightning usually doesn't strike twice in the same spot. And, I seriously doubted that I would get bumped from behind again. (In 20+ years of driving, believe it or not, that is the first time that has happened when I've been driving.) Ironically, as I approached the area where it happened, a large White Suburban got in the lane behind me. But, it wasn't the same person driving it. Behind the wheel of this one was a man, who was yakking on his cell phone. I started to get a little paranoid. Maybe lightning would strike twice. Anyway, I got home with no problems.

But, my back is sore. Not from the accident. But from getting all stressed out yesterday. I ache all over, but me back hurts the worse.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2003

Suburban vs. Escort

Okay, it's Monday morning. Which means this day already has two strikes against it.... I had dropped the girls off at school and I was making my way home. Traffic was heavy, as usual. I was aware of the large vehicle behind me. I thought it was a pick-up truck since all I could see was the front. It doesn't really make that much difference. We are approaching a major intersection. The light turns green and traffic starts slowly moving. For reasons I will never know, the car that is two cars ahead of me stops suddenly. So, the guy behind him stops hard too. And I stop. Knowing that I have a behemoth behind me, I leave a pretty large gap between me and the car in front, even though I still had to stop pretty hard. Then, I hear the unmistakable sound of screeching brakes. The behemoth behind me is sliding towards me. My whole rear view is filled with a large chrome grill. I though she had had stopped in time. But then, there was a terrible sound; she hit me. A loud thunk.

I remember vaguely throwing my car into park, pulling on the emergency brake and hitting the emergency blinkers. I got out slowly and walked towards the rear, expecting to see the rear end of my car shortened by about a foot. I look at, what I thought was a pick-up truck, only to see it was a Suburban. It was a mother and her kids. She told me that we should pull to the side. But, as I looked at the back of my car, I didn't see any damage. No scratches, no dents, nothing. "You know what?" I said, "I don't see any damage!" She still insisted that we pull off the road. I start everything back up and we pull into a parking lot. We both get out and look at our vehicles. Nothing. I didn't see anything. I looked at the rear bumper of the Escort from all angles and I didn't see a warp or anything. She asked me if I was okay. I was shook up, that's about it. The Escort is a tough little car. I'm all tensed up right now. Later in the afternoon, I will probably be aching all over the place. Argh! This day hasn't even started yet and I've already had trouble. Maybe I will go back to sleep!

Posted by Valkyre at 08:49 AM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2003

Spirited Away

I bought this at Sam's Club yesterday and we watched it last night. It was a great movie! The animation is fantastic. It had a cute plot. It really held my attention. The version I bought was dubbed and distributed by Disney. They did a good job, though.

Posted by Valkyre at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2003

A Little Early

I am a Great Aunt again. Unfortunately, it's a little early. My niece had her first baby this morning. It was born at 6 months. She started to feel contractions, so she went to the hospital. They gave her some kind of I.V. drip that made the contractions go away. She had started to dilate also. The I.V. drip started to work, though. The contractions stopped. And, she stopped dilating. But, the amniotic fluid sac, (I hope I'm saying this right), had started to come out. And, it is so delicate, that they cannot just push it back in without risking it tearing. So, they had her deliver the baby. It was a healthy baby girl named Berlin Marie Johnson. She will be in the NCU at Balboa Naval Hospital for one month. I didn't get the details on the length and weight. I will update on that later.

Posted by Valkyre at 03:16 PM | Comments (2)

April 25, 2003

I am Quasi-Evil!!!

My sister sent the following link in my e-mail, so I took the test. I am 59% evil!!! (That's all!?)

I am 59% evil.




I'm getting there. I haven't done all the damage I could do but I've done quite a bit. I'm just over the border into the Evil Zone.



Are you evil? find out at Hilowitz.com

Posted by Valkyre at 08:15 PM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2003

The Words Have Changed

Back on February 10th, I wrote about Laci Peterson. At that time, she was only missing. I took a screen grab from the site put up by her family. Like I said, she was only missing back then and people held out hope that she and her unborn child would be found alive. But, it is not to be. And, the site now reflects the awful truth.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2003

Easter!


I'm a little late posting this. We had a nice ham dinner. Mike made his home made mashed potatoes. I cooked a nice ham. We also had rolls and peas. We dyed Easter eggs last night. This is one I did myself. I took a crayon thing that came with the dye kit and drew a small circle, then dipped it in the yellow dye. Then, after I took it out, I drew petals on it and then dropped it into the orange. I kept doing this with different colors. I was going to draw more petals and drop it into the blue dye. But, after removing it from the purple, I kind of liked the color. So, I quit while I was ahead.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2003

Lost in L.A.

I've only lived here all my life, so you can excuse me for getting lost in downtown Los Angeles.... (Or, maybe I should change the title to "The Curse of the Yahoo Map!") Helena, my oldest daughter needed to go to a cultural museum as part of a college class. We found a Japanese American Museum that was located in the downtown area. I got the address and went to Yahoo maps to get directions. Now, Mike taught me something awhile ago. Look at the maps from two different websites, like Yahoo and maybe Mapblast or MapQuest. Sometimes another one will give you better directions, or you can make your own from a combination of the two. I neglected to do this..... It has been years since I've been to downtown L.A. I used to work there about 20 years ago. Occasionally, we've taken the north bound Harbor Freeway through downtown, but I haven't actually been on the streets of the downtown area for a long time.

According to the map, I was to go north bound on the Harbor Freeway (the 110). From the Harbor, I was supposed to take an exit to another freeway, the Ventura Freeway (the 101). Well, I wanted to go south on the 101 freeway, but the only exit I could see was north. And, there were no signs on the 110 freeway saying anything about an exit for the 101 south. But, this was the exit that Yahoo maps told me to take. Actually, at this point, there were two exits that were actually going to three different freeways.... What I was supposed to do was take the north bound 101 exit and eventually there would have been a south bound 101 exit, I guess maybe it was going to branch off or something, I don't know. I'm not familiar with this area. Now, this is where is gets weird. I didn't want to go south on the 101 freeway, I only wanted to go to the south bound exit, where there would be an exit for this particular street in the downtown area that I wanted. You could even see it on the map. So, of the two choices, I picked the wrong one, of course. I figured if the one direction went north, I obviously wanted to go down the opposite ramp, because that would take me south, right? Nope. I realized after we were slowly heading east out of the dowtown area, that this was not the South 101. It was a different freeway. So, I got off at the next offramp and promptly got back on the freeway that I had just been on, but now I was heading west. I again saw signs for the 101 freeway that I wanted to take, but somehow, ended up in the north bound lanes, when I wanted to go south. So, I got off again and promptly started heading south again. But, I didn't see the street that I wanted. I could see some other streets that were on the map, but not the particular street that I was looking for..... As I mentioned above, this particular street was only accessible from the south bound on ramp that branched off the north bound on ramp from the other freeway, the Harbor freeway (110). Confused now!? So was I! ARGH!!!!! I got off at the next off ramp which dropped me into downtown L.A. The museum was located on 1st street. 1st street runs east and west. I was on a north/south street and headed south. 1st street was the first street I hit when I went south. And, of course, I turned in the wrong direction. But, since this was a Saturday, I was able to make a u-turn. We found the place, no problem. $2.50 to park all day. After we left the museum, I tried to back track. This time, I wanted to go north on the 101. We passed the south on ramp.... We did see the north bound on ramps. But, they were behind some barricades that had been set up. Rats!!!! I drive around, try to find some major streets. Found one that I was sure had been an exit from the freeway and hoped that it would have an entrance. Sure enough! There were freeway signs. I followed them and ended up right back at the blocked off street again! After screaming rather loudly, and amusing my daughter to no end, I took a different path and found the proper entrance to the freeway. And, we got home safely and without further incident. (Thank god!!!!)

Posted by Valkyre at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2003

A Sad Ending (Laci Peterson)

I posted about this back on February 10th, of this year. Laci Peterson, 8 months pregnant with a boy, disappeared on Christmas Eve, 2002. Back then, when I posted, the Modesto Police Department had neither named her husband as a suspect or ruled him out as one. Now, they found two bodies in the ocean which they have positively identified as Laci Peterson and her full term fetus. Also, Scott Peterson, has been arrested as a suspect in their murders. I guess this discovery, though gruesome, will bring closure to Laci's family.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2003

An Old Hoax, Going Around Again

I have relatives on my dad's side of the family who are just now getting into this whole internet/computer thing. It's nice to see them online. We've been sending e-mails to each other, getting caught up on things, etc. Anyway, I got this one today:

Subject: VIRUS ALERT!


A virus has been passed on to me by a contact. My
address book WAS infected.


Since you are in my address book, there is a good
chance you will find it in your computer too. The virus (called jdbgmgr.exe) is
not detected by Norton or McAfee antivirus systems. The virus sits quietly for
14 days before damaging the system. It is sent automatically by messenger and
by the address book, whether or not you sent e-mail to your contacts.


Here's how to check for the virus and how to get rid of it:

YOU MUST DO THIS.

1. Go to start, Find or search option.

2. In the file folder option, type the name jdbgmgr.exe

3. Be sure you search your C: drive and all subfolders
and any other drives you may have.

4. Click "find now"

5. The Virus has a Teddy Bear icon with the name
jdbgmgr.exe DO NOT OPEN IT! ! ! !

6. Go to Edit (on the menu bar) and choose "select
all" to highlight the file without opening it.

7. Now go to File (on the menu bar) and select delete.
It will then go to the Recycle Bin.

8. IF YOU FIND THE VIRUS YOU MUST CONTACT ALL THE PEOPLE IN YOUR
ADDRESS BOOK, SO THEY CAN ERADICATE IT IN THEIR OWN ADDRESS
BOOKS.

To Do This:

a) Open a new e-mail message

b) Click the icon of the address book next to the "TO"

c) Highlight every name and add to "BCC" (which I assume means blind
copy)

d) Copy this message and enter subject paste to e-mail

SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE


Me again! I know she meant well, so I wasn't angry or anything. Of course I had that file on my computer. I am supposed to. It is part of the Window OS. It has something to do with Java. The whole thing is a hoax. I remember this one going around before. Anyway, I put in the file name on Google and found a page on Symantec talking about the hoax. I immediately did a "reply all" and sent the link to the page explaining it's a hoax and telling everyone to please not delete the file. My sister, who was also on the list, did the same thing. Neither of us realized the other had done it, until we checked our e-mail. No response yet from the original sender, nor the other's on the list. I hope no one fell for it. I hope we taught them, in the future, to use the search engines for things like this. I recently got someone who has been sending me quite a lot of useless e-mails to finally look things up on Snopes, before she hits that forward key.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2003

So Much For The Sun

I shouldn't have bragged about the sunshine in another entry. It's now raining. And Southern Californian's don't know how to drive whenever it rains. Oh, and I found out the hard way.... When you step on your umbrella (because somehow it got under your dog's blanket and you didn't notice the lump as you stomped on it) and it makes a nice crunching noise? It's probably not going to function properly when you need it. And, a rainy day is not a good day to find out that your umbrella is broken.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:16 PM | Comments (3)

April 13, 2003

They Found the POW's!

Great news from the CNN site. They found the 7 POW's today! I was so worried about where they were during all this. This is an image that was posted on CNN's site. That is Shoshana Johnson, one of the POW's, in the center of the picture.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2003

I Know What I Will Be Watching Tonight


Went to do some shopping at Sam's Club and I saw this had just been released on video and DVD. I grabbed a DVD copy. We saw it when it was out in the theaters. But, it's been awhile, and we wanted to see it again (and again, and again.....)

Posted by Valkyre at 07:32 PM | Comments (2)

April 11, 2003

IRS!!! Argh!!!!!

Okay, so I did our income taxes last month and sent them in. As I do every year, I asked that the refunds be directly deposited into our checking account. Two weeks ago, the state deposited our refund, $685.00, no problem. The Feds should deposit a refund of $480. Imagine my surprise this morning when I noticed that that IRS had deposited the amount of $30.00 into our checking account. What? Mike tried to find out what is going on through their web site. He can't get any information. He calls a 1-800 number that they provided on their web site. The voice on the line tells him for easier accessibility to his tax refund information, he can access their website. The website which just told him that his information was not available. After keying in his SSN, the refund

amount and some other nonsense, they tell us that my SSN does not match my name. *sigh* 16 years ago, when I got married, I never bothered to change my SSN. It is still in my maiden name. When we filed our first Income Tax Return in 1987, someone noticed that discrepancy and sent out a notice. On this notice, I swore under penalty of perjury, that that was my SSN and that I had not changed to my married name. This satisfied the IRS for 15 years. I was never hassled after that. Until this year...... Seems that they upgraded their software. And their new software caught it. So, since my married name did not match my maiden name on our return, they would not allow Mike to make the deduction for me. Which means a loss of $3000, which put us in another bracket and hence, a difference of $450. It has been corrected for this year. However, the guy from the IRS connected Mike to the Social Security Administration to add my name to the "Name Control". A woman from SSA answers the phone, Mike explains to her what happened. She starts to tell him that I have to go apply for a Social Security card. "But she has a Social Security number already!" She asks to talk to me. Now, instead of just adding my name to the card, I have to take my marriage certificate and various forms of ID down to the local Social Security office and get it changed. Which, I should have done a long time ago. But, I had never been challenged before. I have opened bank accounts, filled out forms, etc. with that SSN under my maiden name and no one has ever challenged me. Except the IRS's new software. And why can't they just look at our history and see that this has been going on for 15+ years without a hassle! Argh! Anyway, our return has been amended. We will get the full amount. I will go down and get my SSN changed to my married name so we do not go through this again next year.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2003

Sore Throat

Argh!!!! While we were at the hospital on Tuesday with my daughter, the doctor wanted her to get an X-ray. When we went over to the Lab to get the X-rays, the woman who processed us was complaining about a sore throat. She thought she may have been coming down with something. The woman sitting next to her started to complain about a sore throat too. She said it just suddenly hit her. Well, they must have been contagious. Amanda has had a sore throat since yesterday, and now Teresa is complaining about one. I just now noticed that mine seems dry and scratchy. *sigh*

Posted by Valkyre at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2003

Some Awesome Images

There were some emotional images posted around various sites on the net. These were taken in Baghdad.


I was watching on TV this morning as the big burly wrestler looking guy pounded away at the concrete base of the Saddam statue. He was doing some serious damage to it. Suddenly, a smaller man comes up and stops him. He then takes up the sledge and starts pounding it. After that, several different people do similar. None of them were able to do as much damage as the man in the image. But, it was all symbolic. The statue was finally toppled with the assitance of the U.S. Marines who were greeted warmly by the people here who were trying to topple the statue.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2003

An Afternoon Scare

Got a phone call this afternoon. I look over and it's Teresa's Junior High School. I pick up. "Your daughter is having difficulty breathing. She wasn't at P.E., she was at lunch when it happened. We don't know what triggered it. We do know she didn't fall." Huh? What? More comes out. She is feeling a tingling in her fingers. "Can I talk to her?" I thought that maybe she had had some kind of panic attack and maybe I could calm her down. They put her on the phone. All I hear is heavy gasping breaths. I can't even talk to her. I had her put the woman who I was talking to back on the line. I am still unclear as to what is going on..... "Would you like us to call 911?" I said, "Maybe......" And then, since I am now not thinking straight, for some odd reason I thought that maybe I would have to come up there before they could call... "Would you like me to come up there?"

Like I said, I thought that I had to be present while they called 911. Any rational thought was gone by now. "Yes!" the woman said, slightly agitated. I guess she must have thought that I was just going to lounge at home on the couch watching soap operas while my daughter struggled to breath. But, that's not what I meant at all. (By the way, the school nurse was gone due to Teresa being the 3rd child that had had some kind of breathing episode today.) I hang up with them and call Mike. Turns out he is about 6 miles closer to the school than I was. He rolled. By the time he had got up there, they already had her on a stretcher. 2 fire trucks, one paramedic unit and an ambulance. I had almost reached the school when Mike called me on my cell and told me to just go straight to the hospital. I turned around and made it to the hospital and parked on the opposite side of where they bring in the patients. You may think that's nothing, but this complex is huge. I run up to the information desk, "Can you tell me where they bring in the patients in the ambulances? A nice volunteer took me to where the ambulances dropped off the patients. Even though I had to walk across the complex, I still beat her ambulance there. Finally, I see it pull up and my daughter inside with an oxygen mask across her face. But, by then, she was breathing normally. Basically, she had hyperventilated. The tingling? I don't know the exact medical term, but it comes when you hypervetilate. You use up all your oxygen and your extremities start to tingle. Teresa's hands, her arms and her legs were tingling like that and she couldn't even walk. After they managed to get her to breath normally, she started to feel pins and needles in her arms, hands and legs as the oxygen started to flow normally. She limped around for awhile and then was able to walk. (They wouldn't release her unless she could walk on her own.) They took a chest x-ray and it checked out okay. So, she is home now. The only thing that they thought may have triggered it, may have been the fact that even though it was extremely hot and dry, the P.E. teachers still made the students run the mile today. All three kids that had episodes had run their miles. But, it took about an hour and a half for the symptoms to hit. Even though Teresa said that she had had trouble breathing after running the mile.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:46 PM | Comments (2)

Time Change Fun

I can't remember where I read it. But, I remember a few years back, there was an article stating that whenever the clocks get moved forward in the Spring and back in the Fall, that car accidents shoot up for the week following. There were various reasons for this. I can't remember them all now. I just thought about it this morning as I came upon the aftermath of three, count them, three different car accidents this morning in a 12 mile round trip. I can't remember the last time I came upon any single accident. Maniacs!

Posted by Valkyre at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2003

Bunny Rescues

Every Easter, the Petco stores around here have an alternative to selling rabbits. Instead of selling rabbits, baby ducks and chicks, they give you an opportunity to donate money to organizations that rescue these animals after Easter. A lot of people buy these cute little animals around Easter and several months later, just dump them. I don't like the pet stores that do sell them around this time. Anyway, I donated towards it yesterday when I went down there to buy some food for our Cockatiel. I just hope that people give their children stuffed toy animals this year instead of live ones.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2003

Nice Day


It was a beautiful day today. Nice enough to make me go outside and work around the backyard. I hope this nice weather holds out.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:41 PM | Comments (2)

April 04, 2003

Domino Effect

Argh! One of those days.... Started out nice. Sun was shining. I had planned to get quite a bit accomplished today.... Then it started slowly going downhill, culminating in me finding out that our pet rat had died. I feel awful. He was a rescue. Rather than feed him to our snake, I kept him as a pet. He didn't live very long. I'm wondering if maybe rats that are bred for snake food maybe have genetic defects. I don't know.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2003

Allergist

Took Teresa to see an allergist finally. I had to ask her primary physician for a referral. They did the skin test last week and she doesn't have hayfever. Today, they took some blood to see what other things she might be allergic to. He seems genuinely concerned and wants to help prevent her sinus infections. And her migraines. I hope that we can get to the bottom of this.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2003

April Fool's Day

Fortunately, the day passed without anyone playing any practical jokes on me.

Went to my sister's house today to watch the new season of Six Feet Under. And, I'm disappointed. It seems to have lost it's edge. I hope it picks up soon, or I am going to write it off.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)