We're going to see Pirates of the Caribbean tomorrow!!
And even better...we're going for free! Albertsons gave us two free movie passes (yeah, the kids don't get to go) for being such good customers. How cool is that?
While doing the Albertsons free ticket thing, I snaked the pirate background and set it to be my desktop wallpaper - and it looks awesome (even stretched from 1100x800 to 1280x1024). Here it is (or you can click the thumbnail above), if you want to try it out.
Tuesday May 22, 2007
World of Spamcraft
I had nearly forgotten about the "Badbartopia forums" that were setup for a quick and easy way for me to post movie and book reviews.
And then I got an email from Gadaddy today that was very scary indeed.
It has come to our attention that your badbartopia.net hosting account is running a vulnerable version of phpBB. This has caused an attacker to upload malicious content to your hosting account. We have removed the malicious content and have disabled the vulnerable script.
To prevent further attacks, we request that you update your version of phpBB as soon as possible. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Scary. I dunno what the malicious content was, but there certainly has been a lot of activity by spammers and other miscreants that Godaddy didn't bother to remove. And I don't even know how these deviants found me. It's not like I get a lot of traffic here.
The phpbb admin tools are pretty worthless, so I went through the database and just nuked all the stupid posts and topics. And sadly, they were all pretty stupid (especially mine - but I left those). I also revoked posting rights so I wouldn't have to come in and clean this sucker up again in the near future. if you really want to post, send me an email and I'll give you rights.
And don't even get me started on the barrage of email SPAM I get. I'm getting the exact same email from the same sender day after day.
From: Mrs. Karen Smith James.
26 Kesington Court, London,
I am the above named person but now undergoing medical treatment in London, England. I am married to Mr. Mark James who worked Repsol YPF SA, integrated international oil and gas exploration and production company in Spain for over a decade before he died on 5th of July in the year 2003. We were married for fifteen years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for two weeks.
Before his death he made a vow to use his wealth for the down trodden and the less privileged in the society. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Nine Million Euro in a Vault with a Finance House in Spain. Presently, this money is still there.
Do people really fall for this? Are they really that stupid?
At least I'm not getting the Vilagra and Pennis Enlargement spam anymore. So I guess it could be worse.
And as if getting spammed in the real world wasn't painful enough, I'm getting spammed nonstop in WoW. And I don't see any way to report these third-world opportunists without jumping through a bunch off hoops - so I don't bother. I used to look forward to receiving mail in the game, but now it's almost always spam, so I never hurry to mailboxes anymore. I'm also starting to ignore "whispers." Most of those seem to be spam too. And I get these spam whispers a lot.
Why do I keep playing World of Warcraft? I didn't buy the expansion, so my level 60 character will forever be level 60. I have a stable of other characters (a warlock, hunter, priest, rogue and warrior with a variety of different professions) who are slowly making their way to level 60. But for what? The quests are 90% familiar from my first time through the game, so the thrill is gone with that aspect. I don't play well with others, so the social aspects of the game are lost to me. Yet I keep on playing (and paying $14 a month for the privilege). And I really don't know why.
I've actually written up a few video and book reviews (and I even grabbed some caps from a few of the movies), but I don't feel like posting any of them right now.
I've also done a few new craptastic sketches, but I haven't bothered to scan many of them. Here are a couple that I did get around to scanning:
Oh well, the kids seem to like them.
I was also going to complain about the company that handled my 401k with my previous employer because they were making it impossible to get my money out of their inept hands, but the ending of the story was too anti-climatic to hold my interest. It almost made a good story about being trapped in a bureaucracy (the form-letter email responses to all my questions were a nice touch), but through outside intervention, the story ended happily. So I won't be commenting on the ineptness of MLS's customer support today (and don't even get me started on their money managers...yikes).
I thought the job was getting better. Even though I'm still way under-utilized, I'm getting used to the pace. As long as my employers are happy with my performance, I'm perfectly happy to take my time. To be honest, I'm not working any more slowly - when handed a project, I quickly finish it...and then I wait for something else to come along. I've actually become so bored that I've even made a few unauthorized enhancements to projects (which I hope won't come back to haunt me, but I suspect they will).
But then I was talking to another contractor (who is, apparently, a different classification of "contract employee" - receiving benefits and a paycheck from SDG&E instead of a third-party contract company as I do) who has been there for the last eighteen months and is nearing the end of his contract. He has known many of the other contractors who have come and gone and shared some disquieting news with me: I'm a dead man walking.
My contract position with SDG&E is very, very likely no more than just a short-term fix to my unemployment problems. Apparently, SDG&E doesn't extend contracts. Nor do they hire contractors - it's too expensive, due to the fees and restrictions built into the employment contracts.
Sadly, I've discovered that there are non-contract job opportunities with SDG&E that I would be a good fit for - were it not for this pesky albatross I've got around my neck. So I've got a little under 10 months before I'll be on the prowl for a new job again. I wasn't exactly "feeling like part of the team" because of my contractor-status before I found out that my position was terminal. And now...my enthusiasm is at an all-time low.
I also just received the rate list for medical coverage through the contract company I'm currently working for. And I thought the rates for medical coverage with my previous employer were high (I suspect this contracting company is really, really small). It just keeps getting better.
Oh well, at least I'll have the chance to pick up a few marketable skills while I'm here.
I was going to share some coding-type stuff here (inspired by Steve's Ugly Fountain BLOG), but I can't remember what any of my code snippets were going to be concerning (something I was searching for that turned out to be obvious...but what?), so maybe not.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. I'm really looking forward to seeing Pirates this weekend. I love pirates. Garr!!
I know this is a weak post (and one of the most unfunny yet), but...I'm just not feeling it these days. It's better than nothing, though. Happy, Dan?