Maybe really stupid people who can't spell are their target market. It's all those stupid people who make spam profitable.
A Walk in the Woods
My Avisia Winger
Check a Sheila Video
24 July 2004
Along with everyone else, I get far too much spam. Thank god my life has been much simplified since I installed MailWasher, a free download which allows you to delete junk mail before it ever comes to your own computer. (Thank you, thank you, thank you, Peggy!!!)
(Unfortunately, Mail Washer doesn't work with a Mac, so you Apple folks are out of luck.)
One of the good features about Mail Washer, alas, does not work for me. It allows you to bounce the e-mail back to the sender, which, over time, makes the machine that is churning these things out think that you dont exist, the theory being that you'll soon start getting less junk mail.
Well, I tried that, but it became a vicious circle. The address of most of the senders of most of the junk were bogus, so when the mail bounced, it was sent back to another bad address and that, in turn, bounced it back to me. Within a day I had a panic call from my server saying that I had to stop bouncing e-mail. So I still get tons of bad e-mail (190 in one afternoon, when we drove to Santa Barbara. I had 201 e-mails, 190 of which were spam!)
But that doesnt make MailWasher useless for me. I can mark addresses as "blacklisted" and I can mark them as "friends." When I check what is on my server, ready to be downloaded, I mark all the blacklisted ones for deletion on the server and they never get to my computer. I only download "friends." MailWasher also highlights stuff that it thinks might be spam.
When an e-mail is questionable, I have the option of viewing it before deciding whether to keep it or delete it on the server, so I occasionally look at some of the preposterous things that come through (one of the values of Mail Washer is that in this preview, I see only text, not graphics, so Ive been spared the unexpected gynecology and urology shots which usually accompany messages from "Jennifer" titled "Hi--I got your message!").
(I want to know how someone is going to prove that they didn't "add at least 4 inches" in order to get their money back!)
What boggles my mind is that after all these years, we're still getting the same scams--only more often.
I cannot believe how many penis enlargers there are out there. A couple of those ads have slipped thru and given me a glimpse of what a man will attempt in the interest of a bit of added length and I know that the art of the snake oil salesman is not dead. It's just moved to the Internet.
I cannot believe that there are enough idiots out there who think obscure royalty or some former high potentate in some African nation is going to make them rich beyond their wildest dreams that the faux potentate-relatives are still sending out these letters.
I cannot believe that someone would be so foolish as to buy anything from someone who offers to sell you "perscription" drugs "cheep." If someone can't spell "prescription" do we really want to buy a compounded pharmaceutical from that company, no matter how "cheep" it's being sold?
I cannot believe how easy people would have you believe it is to get potentially dangerous drugs such as Vicodin, Valium, or Meridia without a doctor's order.
It's hard to know which produces the most volume--penis enlargers or Viagra and/or Cialis, which I guess are really just the same thing, but with non-permanent results (except in the case of Cialis, where men are warned to go to a doctor if an erection lasts longer than 4 hours, which I'm sure has men ordering, hopeful of experiencing one of those 4 hour erections).
Mail Washer has saved me from seeing women engaged in sexual activities with all sorts of animals and barnyard equipment, with varying amounts of fluid displayed.
The ones that get me, though, are the e-mails from me containing viruses. I had an irate note from an acquaintance the other day saying that a message I'd sent her had a virus in it, and the next day that another e-mail had come with another virus attached, so it surely must be my computer that was sending the viruses out. Problem is, though, that until I received her first e-mail, I didn't know her e-mail address, so there was no way I could have even inadvertently sent her a virus. I tried explaining that to her, but I wasn't sure she beieved me. She just wanted me to do something to stop it.
Heck, I get virus e-mails from myself all the time. Yesterday a virus came from the e-mail of my boss at the newspaper. He didn't send it of course. It just had one word and a link (I didn't download it).
I sure don't know what the answer is and I don't know how people can really be profiting from all this mischief that plagues anybody who has a computer or any sort of access to the Internet. I'm sick and tired of getting 300 e-mails a day, only a handful of which I actually want to read.
At least, with Mail Washer, I don't download them all the time any more. I still have to see that they've been sent, but I can delete them before they clog up my in-box, or inadvertently let a virus sneak onto my hard drive.
I received a letter from a friend today--he grew up with our kids. He is in the National Guard and has a plea to make. I thought I would give it wider circulation by posting it here.
Good Morning All,
I hope everybody is doing well.
I've got a project for you if you are interested we've got 90 Northern California National Guard soldiers from my
battalion (Company A, 579th Engineers) currently
These soldiers interact with a lot of the locals including many children and try to give them little trinkets, personal care items and school supplies to help build an understanding one person at a time. The guys over there would love to receive packages and notes from home to let them know they aren't forgotten. This goes toward supporting the troops. I'm not really concerned about whether or not you support the war. If you could find the time to put together a small package of pencils (no crayons they melt), pens, other school type items, travel sized personal products you can send them to:
1SG Skolnik, Ken
A / 579 EN / 81 BCT
First Sergeant Skolnik will make sure that your gifts will be
distributed to the local kids. If you would like to send a note or a package to a random
soldiers just put the rank or "Any Soldier" and the A / 579 EN / 81 BCT,
Restrictions are no alcohol, no pork products and no pornography (defined as any thing stronger than a "Maxim" type magazine). All letters and packages are appreciated.
I've served with a lot of the guys over there to include First Sergeant Skolnik who was one of my platoon sergeants a few years ago and Captain Turner served with me at Fort Hunter Liggett this past year.
Below is an
excerpt from one of the letters from our unit in
We are starting to do a lot more visits with the local people and interacting with
the sheiks who are the leaders of the villages in our area.
They invite us in for meals every time we go to visit and put out large meals,
which are really quite delicious. Our
discussions include helping their communities through the construction of schools, health
clinics, water filtration systems, electrical power to the houses, and sewers. It is quite rewarding being able to help these
people getting the bare necessities, things we take for granted in the
The guys are really putting a lot of work in, pulling long hours and not getting hardly any time off. We try to give everyone a day off a week but this does not always happen. Everyone cannot wait to get back home where a 40-60 hour work week will be relaxing. In spite of the intense mission pace, long hours, and extreme heat, the guys are selflessly putting mission first and hanging in there. For many of them this is probably the most arduous work pace they have ever endured.
We have been here in
There is a change in the mailing policy for incoming letters and packages into
RNK LNAME, FNAME
A / 579 EN / 81 BCT
The abbreviations for the ranks are (PVT, PV2, PFC, SPC, CPL, SGT, SSG, SFC, MSG, 1SG, 2LT, 1LT, CPT) which covers everyone in the company.
It is amazing to be part of this effort to rebuild this country and help the people here. It is beyond explanation how these people live and the conditions they are brought up in. They do not even have clean drinking water. They drink from the same irrigation canals that they bathe in, irrigate their fields from, and have their livestock drink from. The families are so large that you would think the country would be extremely overpopulated, but not many people make it to old age. Their whole concept of life is so different than ours. The children have no concept of sharing and are constantly taking items from those smaller than them. It is truly a society of "the strongest will survive". We are all glad to be part of the change in this society, slow as it is in turning, to where violence is no longer the norm and the people have a say in their community and society.
Everyone here in A Company, from
Until next month, thank you all for your support. Keep sending your appreciation from your end and we'll keep them safe at this end.
CPT William Turner
1SG Kenneth Skolnik
A Co / 579th Engr Bn
The theme was "blue" and this is what I put together