Friday, May 10, 2019

Scam Update

Going back to work is taking it out of me and so I haven't replied to any of your comments about when I was scammed. Taking it out of me is code for I feel like jumping off the balcony, but don't worry, I won't. The wise ones among you suggested I cancel my card. Well, that would be entering a world of pain as I will have redo my auto deductions. Yesterday I noted the scammer company refund had gone through. All good.

Last night in the early hours I received a text from the bank where I have my credit card. Suspicious transaction on your card for $14.31. If you have not authorised this, reply with Fraud. I replied with Fraud and within twenty minutes at 5.00am someone called me and told me my card had been compromised and therefore suspended my card and to call my bank in working hours. 

I spent half an hour plus on the phone to the bank today as I was transferred from one area to another.

It will all end well, but a painful process to go through. I really wish I could say I was drunk when I did something so stupid. At least that would be some kind of excuse.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

We'd be stolen

First they took our car park, so we shopped elsewhere. Then they took one supermarket and we were left with one. Now they have taken the other supermarket so now we have none.

I am talking about Prahran, where we used to drive to do our weekly shop. The car park closed while this grand design is being constructed. https://www.stonnington.vic.gov.au/Development/Council-Projects/Cato-Square

Don't misunderstand. I think turning an ugly asphalt car park into the above plaza as shown in the link above with parking underneath is is a great project.

But then maybe six weeks ago, the Woolworths supermarket closed for renovations. We were in Prahran a week or so ago, where we normally now travel to by tram and R wanted some packets of chicken noodle soup to make Chow Mein. We walked down to the Coles supermarket, only to find it too had closed for renovations. This is extraordinary. Coles would have benefited so much by being the only supermarket. I can only think business was down so much because of the car park being closed.

The nearest supermarkets to Prahran are Woolworths Hawksburn,  Toorak Village and Coles and Woolworths in Balaclava, the former needing two tram trips to get to, and the latter although further away at say three kilometres is at least only one tram trip.

There is an Aldi not far away in South Yarra, but Aldi supermarkets just don't have the range, or chicken noodle soup.

Meanwhile, we have taken to driving to South Melbourne for our weekly shopping and found we like its convenience. Close together are Aldi, Woolworths, Dan Murphys and South Melbourne Market. Parking is free at Aldi for two hours and the only thing we miss are the cheap brunches we could have in Prahran. Sadly a couple of famous South Melbourne dim sims are at times a substitute. But because we so rarely go out for dinner now, I don't mind spending a bit on a decent brunch.

Well, I was disappointed to not be having Chow Mein. I said to R, I will get the tram to Toorak Village this afternoon and get the chicken noodle soup. Once home, he decided to go into the city and get the ingredient at Woolworths at QV.

Psst, if you want some cheap pumpkin, do go and buy it there. There is some kind of pricing software glitch and the two times in about six months we have bought pumpkin there, we've only been charged 2 cents. Keep it to yourself.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Stupid old man scammed

In the very early days of the our internet experience, mid 1990s, I was scammed by an adult site that requested credit card details for age verification. I successfully disputed the transaction with my bank and the money returned to my account.

You would think that with twenty years plus of using the internet and listening to how people get scammed, I would know better. But I was scammed again. While it was late afternoon, not drop of liquor had passed my lips.

An email or something popped up from our internet company saying Google was offering Samsung 9 phones for $1 for the first 100 people who responded. Well, I would really like the upgrade from my 8, even though 10 is now on sale. It kind of made it more plausible to offer the 9 and not the 10.

Out of curiosity I followed through. I was prepared to risk $1 on the off chance and entered my credit card details. I was not being at all careful and I don't know why, but it does give me a better understanding of scamming. I had signed up for adulthookupmatch.com aka adhkptch based in Birmingham, England and my credit card had an unresolved payment for over $40 and I knew it would be a recurring charge. I never went to the site, as that may have indicated some interest by me. Eventually my credit card payment went through after a few days.

I was ready to dispute the charge with my bank, but it seemed I could not do it online as the only classification I could see that was appropriate was fraud, which required a phone call to the bank.

I decided to do this but not when R was here. I would wait until Monday morning.

The bank website did mention contacting the company who you have a problem with before entering the disputation process. Ok. I sent an email in reply to the one I received post joining. Here is a copy, followed by the company's response.

> I had no intention of signing up to any adult hookup site and I consider I
> was scammed.

> Please refund the money to my credit card and make no further deductions.

> Without a prompt and positive response from you in my favour, I will
> dispute the credit card transaction with my bank, Monday morning AEST.

Slightly edited to remove my credit card details:

Your membership has been cancelled and you will not receive any further charges to 
your account regarding this purchase.  

Your account has been refunded in the amount of USD 39.99.  Please allow 5 - 7 
business days for the funds to reach your financial institution.

Thank you,

Stupid old man. The same offer popped up again, ostensibly from our internet provider and I looked at it, and the url was not that of our internet provider, and that was where I should have stopped.

R was astonished that I was caught like that but no one was more astonished than myself. I think the thought of risking $1 overcame common sense.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Memorial Art

This was a creation by our Hairdresser Friend for the memorial afternoon tea for our friend who died last year.

While our late friend was gay, he was quite closeted, but I don't know why as he had an Indian Fijian partner who was about twenty years younger than himself. It was something so obvious yet he would never discuss being gay with family and friends, not even us his closest friends in his last decade or so. Unlike many gay men who will brazenly and explicitly talk about sex (gay men, contact my editor if you disagree), he would only very generally reference it, usually saying that he met a certain hot guy at some period in his life. Many of his sexual partners went on to become lifelong friends. He really made an effort for people and seldom showed disappointment when they let him down.

Drag wasn't his thing, but he did find it amusing when others were in drag. So our Hairdresser Friend did make this creation for the memorial, but not specifically for our late friend. Our surviving Twin Friend is now living in Thailand and she made sure photos of the creation went to him. He will have been impressed. The creation was certainly a talking point and photo point at the memorial. No one was game to eat anything and ruin the art.







Monday, May 06, 2019

Monday Mural

I am cheating as it is not a mural, but isn't it quite sweet. I am not one hundred percent sure it is my photo but I think it is, although I have forgotten where I took it. Maybe it was New Zealand.


Sunday, May 05, 2019

Trolling the chicks

I heard Ginger Gorman speaking on the radio about her book. She was remarkably sanguine about the trolling she has received before and after her book Troll Hunting was published. It seemed to be her conclusion that people who trolled on the internet were otherwise quite normal and decent people.

I can't say I have ever been trolled and I can only imagine what it is like to be a person, especially a woman, who is relentlessly trolled.

John Sylvester is a great and long time crime reporter for The Age. His father was a decent and honest cop in Victoria, of the old school variety. I think John Sylvester comes to rather the same conclusion as Ginger Gorman. Perfectly normal people troll, because they can, anonymously. I think Sylvester's newspaper piece is worth a read. Given many of you are women of a certain age, you have to put yourself in a young women's shoes. You can read a certain number of  articles at The Age without having to pay.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/tracking-the-stalkers-20190430-p51ioo.html




A new camera and the zoo outing

I have to make a decision about buying a new point and shoot camera before we go to England in July. I had almost resolved not to bother with a camera any more, as my phone takes quite brilliant photos. My camera either needs servicing or retiring. I hate the top photo type selection dial that slips around. Even when new it would slip off its spot. I think it was Canada in 2014 where I put sticky tape on the dial to keep it in auto position, but I do change it at times, so once home, I took the tape off. The lens is marked, I don't know how. It is now slow to react. It is f.......not working very well.

The problem with the mobile phone camera is that it can't seem to take decent distance photos. Maybe there is a setting that can be changed. I will look more at the phone camera settings. It does so well for closer photos and far better than my camera in low light situations.

Yes, very much a first world rich fat old white man problem.

After going through the photos I took at the zoo last Saturday, I deleted about two thirds, mostly because they were out of focus, at times because of the slipping dial but other times because it just not get the focus right.

We were at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens for about four hours and with a pause for lunch, we covered no more than one third so I think it takes three visits to fully do justice to the zoo. Little M, Little Em, and the twins loved the outing and everybody enjoyed themselves. Sister was a bit miffed that she wasn't invited, even though she and Little Jo had other things on. It was arranged rather last minute.

If you did want to visit three times, then become a member and then receive heavily discounted entry, which also included the other two zoos under its auspices, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Plains Zoo. You can read of our visits to Healsville (seems I did not take photos) and Werribee.

Tradie Brother called up a radio station and won a prize of a lunch on the Puffing Billy train. He gave it to his daughter, Oldest Niece, and her husband as a Christmas present. It was about to expire so while family were around to look after their daughters, Little M and Little Em, they took the train lunch trip and it looked like they enjoyed it.

Anyway, here are the surviving photos from last Saturday. I do have some good family photos too.

Little M asked me to send this map to her mother, on the Puffing Billy train. Oldest Niece texted back, She is nuts.


African Wild Dogs.



I don't think I have to tell you.


I think it is an alligator, which are not native to Australia. We have crocodiles.



A cancer threatened species, the Tasmanian Devil. Their social interaction is not pleasant to watch but they are an important part of Tasmania's environment.





As we learnt in South Africa, no two zebra stripes are the same and they use the stripe markings to recognise each other.


Small giraffes compared to what we saw in South Africa. I think these are Rothschild giraffes.


Little M and Little Em really wanted to see the elephants, and we did, but not close up. In my opinion elephants do not belong in zoos.







The Butterfly House was brilliant. Such a shame no butterflies are visible, although they were in shot.


We did see monkeys swinging about, but generally the area is not good for taking photos. At least the Lemurs were snappable.


The weather on the day was mixed, as it often is in Melbourne. Little M asked why these two lemurs were together. I replied, to keep nice and warm and they are family.