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Friday, October 30, 2009

Monty Python, NaNoWriMo, and I Get Scammed!!!

You know I started this blog to talk about things that happen in my life and how events affect me. In the process I have also talked about my writing and other people's writing and highlighted some wonderful blogs. I have also met some great people and found that even though I consider my writing a series of mad meanderings a lot of you enjoy reading it.:) In fact, one person, Margaret whose blog is called Meditation and discusses its uses in your life, said that it was like "an online magazine". I thought I would share that with anyone who doesn't read the comments here.

I have learned to read the comments for everyone's blog, because I have learned so much from comments and I have actually met a lot of great people from them. I love new visitors and especially people like Margaret from whom I can learn so much. In some ways she reminds me of my friend Marilyn Campiz, writer of Lotus Sutra Chronicles, who is also a world traveler and has a blog. There is the same calm feeling with beautiful pictures. I highlighted her blog here in this meandering post: "Thoughts on a Sunny Day". Go ahead and check out her blog, because her pictures are not only beautiful, but they tell a story of life in Korea we never see.

Now for something completely different.:) How many of you have been watching the series about Monty Python? It brings back those crazy shows, when I had never seen anything like this group. It also explains a lot of the reasons for their relationships and the precursors to their show. If you have never seen Monty Python go to a much earlier post of mine: "The Good Banker and My Favorite Store", in which I use the same expression as the first sentence of this paragraph. All Monty Python fans know this sentence very well. To transition between hilarious skits they used this sentence. John Cleese, who was able to say this with a straight face all the time in his clipped elite British accent, is probably one of the funniest comedians I have ever seen. Just an aside to let you know that John Cleese recently celebrated his 70th birthday on October 27th.

This new mini-series "Almost the Truth" shows why the show was so amazing. With four out of the five principal guys from the original show there, it was fun hearing them speak about their experiences doing the show. I haven't been able to see the whole series but hope to see it in its entirety when it comes out on DVD from Netflix. These are the most original and side-splitting funniest comedians I have ever seen. If you haven't seen any of the bits they did you have to treat yourself to watching them on YouTube. The one I just linked you to is so hysterical I dare you not to laugh during this skit. It's a combination of the material, their timing, and all of their talents combined. Go ahead and watch all of them including the interviews with the older Eric Idle. You will see how hysterical and irreverent they are. Watch all of the best ones on the Monty Python page.

This week has been full of crazy things. One of the craziest is what happened to me on Monday. As most of you know, I have been looking for a job and a way to make money for over a year. So when this job offer came in an email for a liason for a company overseas I checked it out. Certainly I wasn't about to give my name to spammers. The company, Davies-Turner turned out to be a legitimate company and I filled out the information with my name and address and sent it by email to what I thought was the company's HR department. This was in August, and I completely forgot about it. However, Monday morning a FEDEX envelope overnighted was delivered to me. Inside was a check for $3, 750.00 that showed another company's name in the letterhead. Immediately following this delivery I received an email from this so-called Davies-Turner representative telling me to expect a check and to keep 10% for myself while sending 90% by Western Union to another address. Of course, I didn't do anything. With a lawyer for a husband you learn never to do anything without checking. I called the company on the check and they were a real company. But they told me they had problems last year with bogus checks and that this was not issued by them.

Darn, I thought, I could have really used the money.:) But now I realized that I had been scammed. I went online and found the exact email that had been sent to me as an example of a scam. Funny, this wasn't on, the website I usually use to check if something is real or not. But it was found on Google and then my daughter, who is a research expert, found more about the scam and what I should do about it. So by the afternoon I was talking with the US Attorney Generals office and explaining what had happened to me. I had a copy of the check and the FEDEX envelope that I had sent to the company on the check. The US Attorney General was only interested in whether I had cashed the check or given them my Social Security number. Neither of which I had done. I am naive, but I'm not crazy.

This has really caused me to be very wary of giving any information anymore. The scammers used a real company, Davies-Turner, which has a legitimate business. Then they scammed another business by forging a check with their name. They sent it from another person who did not have a real phone number. (I called the number on the FEDEX envelope immediately). If you clicked on the link for Davies-Turner you can see how someone might think this job was real. If you get a job offer from any company don't just go to their website. What I should have done was search the internet for their name and check the listings underneath the first one. Here is what is there for Davies-Turner. The person who is supposedly sending the email is the real name of the man who is really at this company. It's very tricky so you have to be very careful. I post this as a cautionary tale to anyone who answers this kind of email. Be very, very wary, because you might wind up in my situation. I am sending a copy to the FBI and will also post on as many sites as possible to warn other people from getting involved.

If I had cashed this check as the scammer requested I would have had to pay not only the amount of the check but a fine as well. The Attorney General's office told me it would have been over $5,000.00. Yikes! So, crisis averted, but that did start my week off with a bang!!

The rest of the week I have been occupied with thinking about the next chapter for my WIP, When My Life Changed. Tonight I had a discussion with my daughters about how I should end the book and they gave me some good ideas. Whenever I am really stuck I go to them, because though they are grown they still are closer to the minds of teens than I am.:) Bouncing ideas off of them helped and I think I have a way to end this, finally. Of course, I won't know until I start writing the chapter. Then I probably have two or three more until the end. But we'll see. Writing isn't an exact science. LOL

Speaking of writing, this might be my last post in October and November is going to be very sparse. So if you are missing me I am not posting because I will be doing NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month and occurs every year from November 1st to November 30th. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month! I did it last year and won. I posted my winning badge from 2008 here to gloat about it.:) Also the winning certificate everyone who wins receives. I plan to add ones from 2009! Wish me luck!

Until the next time, which might be way into November, have a Happy Halloween and if you're doing NaNo good luck to you! Please add me as a friend there. My username is: lionmother. It's grueling but worth it. Welcome to all the new readers and thank you again to the readers who have continued to follow my meanderings.


  1. Barbara...
    Wow...that rabbit trail of topics with twists and turns of drama, humour, and adventure! Congrats on the 2008 win! Another friend of mine is also participating in NaNoWriMo. I was like, "What is that?" and scrolled down on my live feed to see you posted your blog with the answer and the link. I love syncronicity!

    Thank you Barbara, as always for the support...and to the readers out there who have visited, thank you for stopping by.

    Everyone have fun on NaNoWriMo!


  2. Marilyn,
    Glad to have answered your question.:) I love your blog and it's always a pleasure for me to link my readers to it.:) Synchronicity is something that shows me that Fate is taking a hand. Have you ever picked up a phone to find the person you wanted to call on the other end?

    Thank you for visiting and I too thank my readers for reading my meanderings. This was a very long and twisted week as you can see.:)

  3. Good luck with NaNoWriMo! This will be my 2st year doing it!

  4. Hi moonduster,
    Thank you for visiting. Good luck to you to. I haven't started writing yet:) I will add you as a buddy. My name is lionmother there. Is yours moonduster?

  5. What a week you have had.
    Thanks for the info on the scam.
    I loved reading about Monty Python. I grew up in the UK so many phrases by MP are in everyday use even though the show is from the distant past. Re-runs are always funny and faves include the Ministry of Funny Walks and the skit about Spam (the tinned variety).
    Best of luck with NaNo.
    I'll keep checking by and thanks so much for the mention in your posting.
    In the Flow....

  6. Hi Margaret,
    Unfortunately, a lot of my weeks are like this. The day will go along fine when all of a sudden I'm in panic mode because something happened or I have a small window of time to do something. Or whole weeks will go by with relative calm and routine then comes a week like the last one. This one is also shaping up to be one of those too.:) Read more on my next post.

    Thanks for visiting and I look forward to your next one.:)


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