Thursday, January 31, 2019

Modern Art and E-Mail Spam

Olga and I came across this pile of rubbish outside a garage while we were walking yesterday morning. Doesn't that piece of plywood in front look like a modernist painting?

It's like something right off MoMA's walls. Unfortunately when I came home last night the rubbish was all gone -- so I'm afraid that artwork has probably been lost to oblivion.

You'll be glad to know my mission-review focus group went well yesterday. I have two more of these to lead in the next couple of weeks. I was afraid it would be like pulling teeth to get people to talk, but actually everyone seems willing to contribute and has something interesting to say, so my fears were unfounded.

I've been getting some really interesting spam e-mail in recent weeks. One was ostensibly from a 25-year-old named Jennifer who is "working really hard to turn into a boob model" and wanted my honest opinion of her photos, which she offered to pass along -- and who, by the way, has a home in Bordeaux (?) and also kindly offered to give me a private show. Then there was Constance, who said, "my figure is beautiful and horny. I prefer to do activities you're most likely too ashamed to even think of. My round a** is eagerly waiting for your battering, and my sharp tongue is ready to make your mind blow up!"

Does anyone really think that sounds sexy? Who falls for these things?

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, yesterday I got a Bible Trivia question, with a promise to send a new one every day. You can bet I unsubscribed from that right away.

I have a very old AOL e-mail address, which I've been using since 1994. I Googled it not too long ago and saw that it was available on lists of active e-mail addresses posted online for use by spammers. So there you go. I suppose I could change it, but trying to stay ahead of that game seems like a futile exercise. Besides, they're entertaining -- I write about interesting spam every once in a while.

Last night I met up with my friend Pam, who served with me in the Peace Corps a quarter century ago (!). She comes through London every now and then for work. We met up in Notting Hill at the normally flower-bedecked Churchill Arms pub (not so many flowers at this time of year) and had a great time catching up. She's the first of several Peace Corps friends who are going to be passing through this spring!


Yorkshire Pudding said...

My son loves "The Churchill" and I have been there a couple of times with him. It's a very quirky pub. By the way, are you sure that "Jennifer" does not reside in Florence, South Carolina? The Bordeaux reference could be a red herring.

Ms. Moon said...

My spam mostly seems to the typical ones concerning a dying woman (always of good Christian background) who somehow needs me to accept millions of dollars. (U.S. dollars.)
So boring.
That artwork is the saddest thing I've ever seen.
I think it's wonderful that you are still in touch and friends with your Peace Corps friends. That's so awesome.

Vivian Swift said...

Did you set a word count to your mission statement? It might be fun to see if anyone can get it in six words. Or three, e.g.: Do No Harm.

I used to get spam from a Christian dating site. Ew.

ellen abbott said...

do not block this garage says the sign behind the pile of trash in front of the garage. I have a spam filter and it's set on high so it winnows out all known spam. everything it is uncertain about gets put in the 'suspect' file and I get a notice once a day of what's in it so I can pluck out relevant stuff. my email is so old that when I first got it back in the late 80s before anybody was doing email it was a string of numbers that had been assigned to me by earthlink. I would email total strangers I came across in chat rooms devoted to topics I was interested in (remember those), sort of like modern day pen pals, because none of my friends or business associates even had a computer or if they did, didn't use the email function. over the years Earthlink allowed us to create our own email address to replace the numbers.

Red said...

I agree that some of the spammers are completely sick. But then if they put this stuff out there they must be getting what they want.

Sharon said...

You get sexy lady spam and I get male enhancement spam. Go figure! I always ask the same thing, who falls for this stuff? The spam phone calls are an even bigger issue here. I get at least three a day....on my cell phone. I always worry about some elderly people who might taken in by them. The ones that say things like "your social security number has been flagged for fraud, we will stop your social security payments unless you call this number" might very well scare a person who is easily confused. I wish our AG's office would do something about the calls rather than filing frivolous law suits against our university. Sorry for the rant.
I'm glad to hear your focus group went well.

Anonymous said...

We got a spam email from FedEx the other day. We had been wondering if we'd get a notification from them to confirm a delivery that required a signature. So, even though it was in my spam folder, I clicked on the link without fully checking the sender's email address. The link opened a website that my malware blocking software detected and put up a big DO NOT ENTER THIS DANGEROUS SITE page for me. I was so grateful. Why oh why are there spammers? I wish I knew.

Catalyst said...

I get frequent spam texts on my smartphone since I opened up the messaging feature. I just delete them and block the number. Ho-hum.

jenny_o said...

I think it's great that your focus group people are enthusiastic and contributing. That sure helps.

I've seen expensive paintings that I like less than that paint-daubed plywood :)

jenny_o said...

Thank you for your detailed reply to my question yesterday - I just saw it. I'm glad to get a different perspective on those points. And I didn't realize Nigel Farage was an EU rep. I really should be reading more about it but to do that I'd have to quit work :)

Sue said...

I agree, put that artwork on a big white wall or over a simple, modern mantle and it would work very well. I can just hear my old art professors giving it a critique.

Fresca said...

"Who falls for these things?" you ask.
A friend's 84-year-old mother who has mild dementia!
Her son caught her in the act of mailing $2,000 IN CASH to some guy who'd told her on the phone that it would increase her chances of winning the Publisher's Clearing House prize.
Turns out she's ALREADY sent him two payments of $500!!!

So... I'm sure it's worth the spammers' time to email or phone--they only have to get one fish on the hook every once in a while to reel in a big reward.