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You'd think crooks would be smarter

I guess crooks don't know the real business world works with lawyers/legalese/proper language, if anything, to cover their butts.  Typos are just not professional.

At least they are hopeful, I'll give them that. 

Here's (yet another) phishing attempt from a fake PayPal.  LOL @ (sic):

we have reasons
to belive that your account was Compromised by a third
party without your authorization.

If you recently accessed your account while traveling, the
unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you.
However, if you are the rightfull holder of the
account, download the form attached to this email, fill the form
and then submit as we try to verify your identity.

If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choise
but to temporaly suspend your account.

We ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be
investigated and we strongly recommend to verefy (sic) your
account in that time.

LJ privacy concerns!!!

(edited many times because preview button won't work.  Ratti, 8am PST)

Maybe everyone knows this but me, and maybe this is the same for all sites (like FB?) where people are trying to maintain some privacy in what they write...

I've noticed that although I've changed my settings to "just me" (by way of experiment), I can find my journal on Google by entering phrases from my journal.

I'm sure this is not normally a problem most of the time.

The thing is, I wanted to set up a separate blog, for people for whom I want to know only fairly generic stuff about me.  In doing so, I've copied-and-pasted info from one blog/journal to another.  In the unlikely event someone thought of  --and wanted to see if--  I had another presence on the web, they could find me this way.  They would also see my other username and maybe be able to track further info.

Now, I'm no doubt being overly paranoid, but to me, privacy is privacy.  I asked LJ about it and they said they have no control over "cached" sites and that one would have to contact the search engine and ask to have your info removed (errr, *how* many search engines are there??!)

Since they mentioned cached sites, maybe after one changes the privacy settings, subsequent entries would be private (to oneself, or friends, etc). I just tried such a post and it DOESN'T show up on a Google search, but I don't know if it takes time to make an internet presence.

So, although I would like my blog to remain open to "everyone", I can't just *copy* the bits I want to post elsewhere -- it would have to be re-written, in order to avoid a "paper trail".

PS: I had originally intended to put all the entries in LJ, and use privacy settings and groups to direct posts to whom I wish can see it, bu that seemed to risky -- could I trust myself to do it right each time.  Also, it occurred to me that other entries within LJ might be tracked the same way as described above.

PS2:  I just wanted to add...this is real drag for trying to assign settings for each entry....the rest of the journal is just not truly  "off limits" to those you don't want seeing...

Experiments with polenta burgers

I guess burgers are more on my mind now that it's BBQ season.

I've been very frustrated that I can't find veggie burgers or weiners  that don't have wheat in them, and ideally no soy. 

The form of polenta I buy is the type in a sort of tube, shaped like a salami.  I usually cut a few slices and fry it in butter. YUM!

That got me thinking about using them as burgers.  "Would you like some more carbs on your carbs?"    Oh, well, I rarely eat burgers so I won't worry about that.

ATTEMPT #: slices marinaded in half/half water and HP Sauce (to give colour and flavour)

-I fried these in butter.   The HP sauce is stronger a flavour than I would like.  Also, I forgot the slices become quite soft when cooked -- not sure how  great that would be in an actual burger. 

Added later: I fried the slices ALOT so they were kind of crispy on the outside.  That helped the outer texture, but the insides were still soft.

More ideas:
-try the Crosse & Blackwell's Gravy Browning
- grind up the patties maybe add rice, like commercial veggie burgers
-coat the "patties" in gluten-free bread crumbs
-grind up the patties and add GF breadcrumbs and maybe mushrooms, or find some cornmeal and start from scratch...hmmm.

Of course, it just occured to me to search "polenta burgers" and sure enough there are some entries!

Off to read them!


Ok, the first few were just the opposite!  Burgers on polenta BUNS! LOL

Now THIS sounds great, with sweet potato in!!

This one sounds good, too, and has cheese in it!

Ok, so obviously I'm not the first one to consider this!  I'll keep browsing the web and see what I come up with.

Ok, those are about the only two I found!  My experiments must continue....

Review: Belkin Laptop Cooling Pad

I noticed a long time ago that the laptop gets extremely hot and happened upon a simple homemade solution.  Someone gave me this trivet.  It’s made from pieces of wood 1” square.

I discovered that by flipping it, it raises the back of the laptop and the frontpiece also stops the laptop from sliding forward.

My laptop died several times over the weekend.  Seems the fan has not been able to cope.   I eventually put the 10” room-fan on it, and there’s been no problem since.   However, the fan is  a bit irritating as it’s blowing on me and I just got over a cold, and it’s leaving me feel chilled.


I did some research online, especially referring to the reviews at amazon.com and cnet.com      and decided on the Belkin Laptop Cooling Pad.    The price was also right, $30 on sale at The Source.    


I had heard negative things about the pull-out leg at the back sometime collapsing, so I didn’t want to rely on it.  Because of the concave design (meant to allow more airflow under the laptop), you can’t use it WITHOUT the leg.  First design flaw.  Second is that the USB cord is attached inside the compartment that houses the leg when closed (the leg serves as a lid to the compartment).  I guess they thought they were doing double-duty with that set-up – you can’t close the leg/lid anyway, as the cord would impede, and could actually become damaged.  A third issue with this design that doesn’t affect me since I never use the LT on my lap, is that the curved shape curves downward….if you sat it on your lap or bed, the fan is basically in contact with that surface.


In order to feel the LT was in a more sable position I thought I’d set the cooler on the trivet and the LT on top of that.  In principle it works, but makes it too high for me at the moment…I might have to rethink it.

Added later:  Because this arrangement is so tall, I might opt to remove the trivet and use something else under the LT, braced by the pull-down leg, so it’s elevated a bit, but at the same time not relying on that leg for stability.


 I had to fiddle with a few different arrangements till I found one that works.  Many reports complained that the USB cord that attaches to the computer is too short, (it’s about 12”) but I was able to set it up no problem.  The only times it's struck me, is when I've wanted to lift the LT to feel underneath, and the cooling pad  pretty much comes along with it!


Because of the configuration of the trivet/cooling pad things were slipping around a bit, so I just wrapped the rubbery shelf liner that I had been using under the trivet, up and around the edge of the trivet.

I want to mention that this stuff is a super easy, inexpensive solution to things sliding around on a desk!


For my timing record, cooler is now plugged in, at 1:40pm.

One concern with the curved/concave  shape is that it comes up to make contact with the LT bottom at front and back, right where my fan is!  I’ve been able to adjust things such that I think it will be alright.

Note to self: at the moment, the TOP of the laptop (keyboard), under my left wrist is warmer than expected…I never noticed the top get warm, that I can recall.

The cooling pad is attractive and I would feel more confident if that leg/lid set up was different. You can hear it running, but it’s not too loud. 

The air movement is good.  From what I understand, most cooling fan pads suck air AWAY from the LT…this one directs air AT it, which seem much more logical to me.I've moved my LT slightly to the right so that the parts that usually get hot are closer to the fan. With my14" LT, that hasn't compromised the stability.

So…40 minutes into the experiment, so far, so good.

For the moment, 4 out of 5 stars.  Will update.



I decided to remove the trivet and it's SO MUCH BETTER! I'm a littler paranoid about the LT being held in place by the rubber strip, but that's probably just me. I've shaken the table and nothing is moving.

Even the leg/stand seems rather steady to me. I read reviews where people said if they slid the thing backward, the leg would collapse...which seems fair, but I don't move my LT that way. Also the rubber stoppers on the bottom of the front pegs (legs) don't make it easy to slide around anyway. On this wee table I can't risk moving it anyway -- I'll always be sure something is holding things in place.

Still 4 out of 5

LJ, you saved my draft? I LOOOOOVE you!

I haven't blogged for quite a while (and was a newb, too, back then) and forgot Live Journal has this feature!!!

I was almost done a post earlier today when the computer died!!  

I restarted and was soooo relieeeved when I saw that LJ had saved it as a  draft!

I love you guys!

CBC Promised Land: 40 years since Uganda

I heard a shocking and gut-wrenching story on the radio last night.  CBC Radio is doing a series called "Promised Land: Ten stories of harrowing, exciting and often dangerous escapes to Canada as told by the immigrants and refugees who endured them".

Last night was about the expulsion of the Asians from Uganda in 1972.  These weren't just immigrants, some had been there for generations.  All,  ALL had to leave.  Oh lord, what a  tear-jerking and UTTERLY infuriating story!    In July 1972, I was 10 years old and even as a kid in Canada we knew Idi Amin was bonkers. 

One more example of what people allow other people to get away with.
I'm sure this madness is probably the same with politicians the world over...THEY get to say how much they'll get paid.  They make sure no one else gets cost-of-living/inflation increases.

Local news, Port Coquitlam BC:

By the way, the Vancouver area is one of the most expensive places to live in Canada, and I think homes and accommodations here are the most expensive in the country.   The minimum wage is $8/hr (about equivalent in US dollars) , and the stinking provincial government implemented a $6 training wage which the employer can apply for up  to 500 hours.  I wonder what if they can stretch that out, even if the employee is trained in 50 hours.

By the way, the mayor in the above article was part of the provincial government when they thought up the $6 training wage.

Greg Moore, it seems that  you're a drip and you will NEVER have my vote.


I can't see the blogs in question!  I get an error message to that page!!

The Big O Faisco (Vancouver Olympics)

In my humble opinion

First of all, why would anyone think to hold them in the warmest spot in Canada?  When people think "Canada" they think land of ice and snow.  Vancouver and region  is the only spot that ISN'T.  Its climate is virtually identical to Seattle Washington and Portland Oregon.  In a pinch I can watch a weather report on TV  from there, and I know it will be basically the same here. 

So not only is it ALWAYS mild here, but this year is the warmest on record.  Ok, I know they had no control over that bit.

Not only that, in spite of its claims, Vancouver is a bit of a backwater.  The powers that be like to claim it's very metropolitan, but you know when the nightlife closes by 2 and the visitors centres close from Labour Day to Victoria Day, a big city yer not!

There were lots of reasons to despise the Olympic people (committee and the Vancouver committee) right off that bat, hence my earlier post about not letting them come to your town.  Make no mistake - the Olympic Committee RUNS a place they descend upon.  Our bylaws went out the window with them overtaking everything, yes even government.  That should make us all afraid.  These are powerful people.

The first thing that made everyone hate them:  they swanned into town and proclaimed that any business with an Olympic sounding name must change their name. WTH???  We have a "Little Greece" neighbourhood that has been there for decades, and OF COURSE there are Olympic names, after their ancient beliefs.   People started to realize the corporate bulldozer had arrived.

There are SOOOO many transgressions against a people that the Olympic Organizing Committee has committed, I am remiss for not having documented all of them.

Apparently we have more soldiers here right now than we do in Afghanistan!   It IS rightly called a military-occupied zone.

Streets that our taxes pay for are off limits to citizens.  And I don't mean right in the thick of the events, I mean all over the city, not even *near* the events.  This is (sorry, WAS) claimed to be a "green" Oly, but the Oly vehicles are SUVS and *they* get to use special lanes all over the city. As you might suspect, they are occupied by the driver only.  Because of the measures taken to create snow, ship it in , and keep it frozen, it's not remotely a green Olympics any more.

The Olympic thugs had dictated that NO PROTEST SIGNS shall be allowed, ANYWHERE.  Not even on private property.  You could get fined AND put in jail!  I'm tellin' ya, you DO NOT want these kids playing in your backyard!!   The BC Civil Liberties Association took legal action against them on this issue, and only then did they back down.  Like any good bully would.

Once the Olympics were a sure deal here, THEN the city decided it was time to help the homeless. They really wanted to get them the hell off the streets where visitors could see.  Sadly, they didn't get their act together in time.  I heard a couple weeks ago they would start handing out tents to the homeless.  This is ironic considering a few years back a "tent city" sprung up on a large piece of property in the heart of the city that sat while waiting for development.  Oh the city officials sure didn't like that idea back then. It was removed in good time.

In Whistler, the homeless were put on buses and shipped out to the next town!!!  The residents of this  town had officials getting them to open their homes to visitors to help the overflow from hotels, etc.  Well, turns out the officials didn't realize that travel restrictions they themselves instigated would prevent travel from that town to the neighouring Olympic site.  They demonstrate they are not the brightest bunch over and over again.

The road in question (the only one that can get you there) is riddled with checkpoints.  I heard recently that as you pass one checkpoint to the other, they seal you into your car.  BIG TROUBLE if the seal has been broken between one checkpoint and the next (heaven forbid anyone needs to get out for some reason).  

You have to understand that in Canada (like most of the Western world, I imagine) you can travel freely anywhere, any time you want, so this sort of control is totally alien to us.

I love Vancouver, being my hometown, but they are good at doing things "tacky".  I feared for the Olympic opening ceremonies, but it turned out very nicely.  They hired an Aussie to do it.  Too bad about the final lighting of the "flame".    So, true to form, someone forgot they needed a Canada Pavillion.  A few months ago they decided they better get cracking, but having left it so late, we got...


Countries, communities, they all put up some amazing stuff, by all accounts.  Canada, the host country, dropped the ball.  The Member of Parliament of my district was responsible for this c**k-up.  I'm not surprised about that, either.   The native Aboriginal cultures, The Four Host Nations, who get crapped on by government (in spite of the nice show the organizers gave the world at the opening ceremonies) put up a spectacular place.  The entire country managed....a tent.  Woo hoo!

I don't mind the sports of the Olympics, but the political and money-sucking disaster that it is, is quite frankly VERY SCARY.

I can't recommend you having them come for a visit to your home town.

Groovy-looking clouds

But sadly, I had no camera.

Leaving work yesterday I was headed north and to the north of Vancouver is the Coastal Mountain Range (you can't get lost here if you can see the mountains!). The clouds always gather there, so that was nothing new. However the clouds themselves looked AMAZING yesterday!  They were all pushed into the mountains and looked like pyroclastic flow clouds.  I've never seen them look like that here before.