Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why I Love the Internet

I get a lot of junk mail sent to me. Who doesn't? I mean, no matter how many times you check that box on a company's website to agree that they won't sell your address or use it for otherwise nefarious purposes, someone somewhere is trolling cyberspace for email addresses and mine hits the jackpot every time. I usually send them directly to my junk folder hoping that the email domain gods will prevent that address from spamming me again.

Today, though, I opened one. And am I ever glad I did! It made me laugh out loud -- the poor grammar, spelling mistakes and above all, the naive possibility that someone will actually fall for this scheme. He's dressed it up a bit trying to disguise it for what it is, but a scam is a scam is spam.

Enjoy your laugh for the day. I've taken the liberty of adding my commentary in italics.

You received the following message from: kwaussi (

From Edwin Kwaussi
Avenue 5 Lot 172 Cocody Quarters
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire
+225 0619 3223
I'm including the address headers and all of his personal information just in case anyone would like to take him up on his offer.

Good day Dear One, He doesn't even know me! He must really love me already to call me this.

Greetings and How are you today,I am Edwin Kwaussi Hello, Edwin. It's very nice to meet you. I wish you knew about the joys of puncuation along with salutations. I would like you to permit me to apply through this medium for your co-operation and to secure an opportunity to invest and do joint relationship and business with you in your country.
I have a substantial capital I honourably Inherited from my late father late Chief Marcel Kwaussi Ooh! A chief, was he? This is getting better and better! who deal in Cocao-coffee platation that must be that rare art form of making plates out of coffee. Hard to do but oh so delicious. and share from family Gold, diamond Minining site.The Epmgigo rebels killed Him recently in poltical crisis in our country that have resulted to war since this past two years. I've never heard of a family Gold, diamond minining site. I wonder what type of industry that is exactly?
I intend to invest this money in profitable areas in your country into a very lucratives business venture of which you are to advise and execute the said venture over there for the mutual benefits of both of us . More profitable and lucratives than Gold and diamond minining?
Most especially is for you to help me come over to your base if possible for You I like being referred to with the capitalization of "You." It makes me feel so....royal. be able co-operate with me to become my business partner in your country and create ideas on how money will be invested, properly managed and the type of investment after the money is transferred to your custody with your assistance. I wonder what he would say if I said I wanted to invest his Gold and diamond minining money in gold and diamonds? I inherited this sum from my late father whom the rebels killed because he was not supporting their selfish intrest to topple the president Gbagbo the present president. Punctuation not withstanding, he's got some alliteration skills.
Meanwhile, on indication of your willingness to handle this transaction sincerely by protecting my Interests and upon your acceptance of this proposal.I would furnish you with the full detailed information, procedure, amount involve is below and we shall mutually agree on your percentage interest or share holding for helping me to secure the release of the deposit and investing the fund into a lucratives profitable venture in your care.It is The sum of Eight Million,Five Hundred Thousand USD $8.500.000USD I shall be glad to reserve this respect and opportunity for you, if you so desire, but do urge you to give the matter your immediate attention it deserves.I want you to be rest assured that everything is in order and legitimate of course it is it was due to the political crisis in our country that have resulted to war which cause everybody to find a way to get out the country, that make's me to use this medium to request for your assistance hoping that you will not let me down. It appears that Edwin is also discovering the joys of the internet. Alas, I don't think it will net him the same humorous results it is for me. This money is legitimately acquired by my late father from sales of cocoa-coffee and diamond dealings. The gold! What about the gold? And the minining? And shouldn't his father's village (I assume it's a village since he is the honorable chief) have some say-so in this matter? I wonder what my percentage of the cut would be? Eight million bucks is nothing to sneeze at. But half of percent of that is very sneeze worthy. Looking forward to your prompt response
Thanks and God bless
Edwin Kwaussi.


Let's just see how legitimate this all is, shall we? Among the other joys of the internet is the power of Google. Let's start with the country name Edwin gives us, Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. When I actually take the time to read it, it appears that it could be French for Ivory Coast. So far, so good. I've heard of that.

Next, President Gbagbo. Wikipedia gives some interesting information on him, confirming that his rise to power has been achieved by questionable means.

But anyone can figure that much out. Like me. Let's try the hard stuff. Starting with the supposed rebels, the Epmgigo. Now things start to look a little bit questionable. The only hits I get on that are ones that appear to refer back to this same letter. I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this!

How about something truly unique -- his father's name. When I google that as spelled in this email, Google thoughtfully asks me, "Did you mean Chief Marcel Kwasi?" And the only link is one to a forum where this same letter is being discussed.

Oh, Edwin. I'm so disappointed. You called me dear one, you said you were reserving this opportunity for me, and now I see that you've cybercheated on me. Is that even your name, Edwin? Is your father really a chief specializing in cacao/coffee, Gold and diamond minining? I'm not sure I can trust you anymore. Please consider this my response:


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Marty -- A Small Body in a Big Life

Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord;
Thou sendest blessings from above
Thru words and deeds of those who love.

When such a friend from us departs,
We hold forever in our hearts
A sweet and hallowed memory,
Bringing us nearer, Lord, to thee.
("Each Life That Touches Ours For Good," by Karen Lynn Davidson)

Marty was small, but he had a big heart. I know, you've heard that before, right? But here's the thing -- Marty was small, even for his only being five weeks old he was small. But when you looked in those eyes, you saw the potential for the hugeness of his heart.

Here -- try it for yourself. Look in those eyes and tell me you don't see great things.

Isn't he cute? And teeny? That's my hand holding him, and I have small hands.

Marty came to us via the Burbank Animal Shelter kitten foster program. Cim's a foster parent there, and with two of her own cats, and a foster that thinks she owns the joint, taking on two baby kittens seemed like a lot, especially when one of the new kittens picked on Marty incessantly. We decided to give him (and Cim) and break and invited him over to our house.

He was already a little bit sick, but what kitten wouldn't be, when torn from his mama at such an early age? We did the best we could as surrogate mothers. We fed him, bathed him, made sure he knew how to use the litter box, and above all, made sure to let him know how much we loved him.

Unfortunately, the amount of love you get can't always take care of every problem, especially when there are unseen and undetected internal ones.

Little Marty passed away on August 16 in the early morning hours. He didn't leave without a fight, but he left because his body just wasn't big enough to handle what the world had thrown at him in such a short amount of time.

Regardless of his short time here, I have no doubt that he did what he came here to do: open our hearts a little bit more to loving and being loved in turn, and teaching compassion as only a sweet little kitten can.

I have no doubt that he is happily running around in heaven with all the other kitties, especially my Siren, and free of earthly pain, can now begin enjoying his life as a kitten.

God speed, Marty. See you soon.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

60 Years

This past weekend I went to Utah to celebrate my parents' 60th wedding anniversary. Yes, sixty years. Six zero. Six decades. A silver anniversary plus another 10 years. We didn't make a huge deal out of it by inviting the whole world, but we did want to have as many of their children there as possible. All six of their children were there, several grandchildren, and about half of their great-grandchildren.

Even though all six of us were there, we were only all together for one evening, so we had to make the best of it and make sure we captured that moment on film. The meeting point was the rest home where my sister lives.


And that, friends, was the most formal part of the whole shebang. I mean, that was really the only thing on the agenda. After that the weekend was pretty much a free-for-all. People got together when they could, various children and grandchildren showed up, and we just basically hung out together as much as we could. We got reacquainted with each other, and in some cases, met relatives we hadn't yet. I met my nephew's wife and their 6 (extremely intelligent, and it goes without saying, somewhat precosious) children and was charmed by their family. I got to know another a niece-in-law better and grew to appreciate her more. I hung out with another niece who I love but who lives too far away from me to for my liking. She's only a few years younger than I am, and she's just fantastic. And I hung out with my sisters as much as I could and we all grew to love each other more. At least, I think we did. I know I did, and I hope they did.

Family. Not the people you necessarily choose to be with during your mortal life, but they're what you've been given. It's taken me awhile to figure out that mine's better than most, so I'd better make the best of it while I can.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


7 Things I want to Do Before I Die

1. Explore England (all British Isles)
2. Go to Australia
3. Go back to Chile. I think. Maybe. Not sure about this one.
4. Fly an airplane.
5. Learn to ride a motorcycle
6. Own another Jeep. Tour backwoods America in it.
7. Hang glide

7 Things I Cannot Do

1. Lick my elbow
2. Sing a solo
3. Read lips. Very well. Almost never.
4. Go into management
5. Run a marthon.
6. Get married (apparently).
7. Lower my standards just to get married.

7 Things That Attracted Me to My Spouse

1. His long eyelashes.
2. His fastidiousness.
3. The fact that he greets me every day when I get home from work
4. He never leaves the toilet seat up.
5. His adoring attention to me.
6. His beautiful coat of fur.
7. Huh? Oh, "spouse." I thought you said "cat."

7 Things I Say Often

1. Oh my Helena Montana!
2. Uhhh.....
3. Huh?
4. What'd she say?
5. What are you saying?
6. Oh, for crying in the night!
7. Whoops

7 Books I Could Read Over and Over

1. The Book of Mormon
2. The Old Testament
3. The Harry Potter series (there's six right there!)
4. Cheaper By the Dozen
5. Ella Enchanted
6. I read all the time. I don't know why I can't think of more.
7. But I'll come back to this.

7 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over

1. A League of Their Own
2. Ever After
3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
5. Mean Girls
6. 13 Going on 30
7. Sliding Doors

7 People I Think Should do "7"

1. I'd say her, but she's already done it.
2. I'd say Linda, but she probably won't.
3. QWK, but I'll wait for her to post her results.
4. And after that, I run out of friends.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Ren Faire

(Because I'm not quite sure how to spell "renaissaince," and am too busy to look it up.)

We went to the Ren Faire on Saturday. It's always fun to see people dressed up, even though many of the costumes make me shake my head in wonder. Some people think it's an excuse for a big costume party regardless of era, so there's all sorts of different things that shouldn't be there. Those are the ones who started off for the SciFi/Fantasty convention and made a wrong turn.

It was bigger this year than it has been in the past, or at least, it was less circular, so the beginning to end route took longer because you either went all the way and saw everything, then saw it again on the way back, or .... you didn't. We found that out the hard way when we wanted to go see the Queen's jousting tournament at 2:00. It took us about 20 minutes to make it through the crowds of people all the way to the end, because of course the jousting arena was at the very END of the whole thing.

My purchases that day include a puzzle ring, a puzzle box and a cool custom-made medallion with the tree of life on one side and a representation of the north star from the Chumash tribe on the other. Yes, it was a costly day, but those were things I've been wanting, and I haven't been to a Ren Faire in a long time, so .... there.

Monday, May 1, 2006

We went to go see Ashes and Snow the other day (that's a story for another entry), and I brought my camera with me. On the way back to the car, we stopped to play on some adult-sized playground equipment. It was an opportune photo op. What I didn't realize was that my white balances were all out of whack from playing with the camera before. It was disappointing when I was uploading them to my laptop to see how washed out everything was, but I decided to see if I could salvage any of them, and this is what I came up with:

Not too shabby, eh? The original was awful, but by adjusting the brightness and contrast, I was pleasantly surprised at some of the effects I got. I love how it looks like she's walking on air. And I love how she's so unselfconscious about being photographed.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Swoop In Like a Seagull

I was having such a busy day on Monday, that it was beyond frustrating. There is only one me, but enough work on this project and in my regular duties to provide enough work for two or two and a half mes. Easily. The added workload makes it harder to leave work at work and is adding a fair amount of stress to my life.

So much stress, in fact, that I sometimes say things I shouldn't. Like the conversation I had with one of my more annoying consultants/contractors working for me on this project. He was there with his "team" supposedly to work, but since there were so many of them there, they were making more work for me, as opposed to actually accomplishing things. Or so it seemed at the time. I asked him when he was coming back to finish up their tasks, and he said not until Thursday. I said, "Wow, Russell. You're just like a seagull. You swoop in here, crap all over everything, and then leave."

I really need to master that whole "think before you speak" principle.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

I Call Dibs!

So I'm talking to my good friend Kay this morning. She has two children, ages two and 6 months. Both of them are adopted, which usually isn't important, but does come into play, so you need to know the backstory.

It's been interesting watching her go from a mom of one to a mom of two. One child is okay, but two are more than a handful. She's pretty clear on the fact that two is all she's going to have, not just because of the home management issues, but also because the agency they went through has a two kid per couple limit.

While we were talking today, she said something again about two being all she could handle. But then she quickly said, "Oh, I need to be careful about about saying that though, huh?"

"Well, sure, because you might adopt again."

"Yeah, we might adopt again. But also, I need to be careful because someone I know might get pregnant someday. Like if you ever get knocked up that's an ideal situation for me."

She speaks rapid-fire fast, each word blurring and blending into each other, so sometimes it takes me a second or two to catch up to what she's saying.

"So, let me get something straight. If I get knocked up that's ideal for you?"

"Well, yeah. You're my friend, so you know, free baby."

"Well, if I ever did get knocked up, there's no way I'm giving the baby to you."

"Why not? YOu don't think you'd want to hear me on the phone all the time, 'Laura, stop hitting your brother! Laura, stop setting the house on fire! Laura, put your sister down and go to your room!' You don't think you'd want to listen to that all the time?"

"Well, right. I mean, no offense, I know you're a great mom and all, but, I'd have to give up my friendship with you if you're going to raise my kid, because I couldn't handle seeing it all the time and it wouldn't be mine anymore.

"Huh. (Making weighing motion with hands.) Give up my friendship with Laura or free baby. Friendship with Laura, free baby."

"Oh no, no, no my friend. You're not getting this kid for free from me! It'll cost you....thirty-thousand dollars."

"Thirty thousand! Man, for that much, you'd better be sleeping with Pierce Brosnan then."

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Dakota, Christmas Kitty

Okay, I guess he can't technically be called my Christmas kitty since I didn't get him for Christmas, but my oh my, he did love the festivities. He loved having people over, he loved socializing, he loved the extra food, and he loved the Christmas tree. From the moment it went up, it became his personal playground.

Sometimes, he even stopped long enough for me to take a photo.

Here's To a New Year

I feel like I'm still waiting for Christmas. Even though I know it didn't pass me by, I still feel like I wasn't completely present. I didn't hear enough Christmas music. I didn't enjoy enough Christmas lights and decorated houses. I didn't put up enough decorations in our own house. I didn't serve enough. I didn't feel Christmas this year.

I enjoyed my presents, I enjoyed giving the presents I gave and I chose very thoughtful ones for my loved ones and got very thoughtful ones in return. I got a lot of Christmas cards and season's greetings from friends.

But it's December 27th, and I feel like I'm still waiting for the big day.

It could be something as simple as the lack of weather. Two days before Christmas we had all our doors open because it was so dang warm. But that seemed to be a nation-wide problem. It was warm everywhere, unseasonably so.

Or maybe Christmas was just so good that it seems a bit unreal. Because it really was. Terrific. Great. Wonderful. I have a great family and a great family of choice that I spend the holidays with, and I am surrounded by love and affection.

Christmas was good, but I want to feel more, be more, do more. And I hate waiting for next year for that to happen, but when something only comes once a year, I have no other choice. So I will work up to that throughout the year by being more me, more present, more in the moment.