Coffee heat rising

Booted Out of Facebook :o(


Huh! Lookit this! And what d’you think? Covid brain fog, or senility?

Actually, this morning I was back in to FB, as normal as before. Now, along about 3 p.m., it boots me out again: for no discernible reason.

I see there’s some kind of FB help line. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if one could reach a human being there. Facebook is one of the most faceless organizations I’ve come across…in an era of faceless organizations. But what the heck. I’ll try. Maybe.


Facebook has suddenly decided it won’t accept my password. I’ve tried three times to get back in. Three times they’ve sent me a numeric code to get in and create a new p/w. Three times the numeric code has failed.

So I guess I must have offended. Apparently I’m locked out.

Well. Screw them, eh?

Seriously: a lot of people don’t like me. Ever has it been thus, since I was a kid in grade school. What it is about me that sets people off, I have no idea. Consequently I have no way to fix it. But…it’s a fact of life. Somebody probably complained about something I said…and that was the end of me!

Too bad. I enjoyed putzing around online with folks I know. But WTF. I’ve always been a loner, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.

Plus it’s that much more motivation to go down to the Cathedral, try to reconnect with choir members who’ve drifted down there, and see if I can get on the choir there. Or not.

Moving on...and on…and on….

Eff Facebook!

Well, that was charming.

All of a sudden — for no reason that I could discern — Facebook decided I was not allowed in. My password did not work.

THREE TIMES did I jump through hoop after hoop to get their effing machine to send me a new temporary password. THREE TIMES the damn thing didn’t work, or when I did get in and attempted to create a new password for myself, it didn’t work.

So. I guess I’m permanently off of Facebook

That’s probably a good thing, actually. One fewer way to waste time.

And waste time I do: copiously. Mostly on this dayum computer. Really: I’ve blown the entire day sitting here in front of this thing. Watered a few plants, entered some data in Excel, and…and…that was it.

What else could I have done?

  • It’s after 9 p.m. The sidewalks have no doubt cooled enough for Ruby to walk on them. She and I could have gone a mile by now. Or even two.
  • It’s still plenty hot out there, though. I could have jumped in the pool and got this chunk of exercise by swimming.
  • I could have written a blog post. 😀
  • I could have started working on the proposed project to record my father’s family history.

How is this a disaster?

Not exactly a disaster, but a real inconvenience. The neighborhood organization has a Facebook page where they post frequently and cogently. Not being able to see and participate in that puts me on the outside. And that does pi$$ me off royally.

And I use(d) Facebook to plug new posts as they appear here at Funny. Anyone else who would like to do that now is welcome to do so!

So the Hell What?

Good question. I do have another computer and may be able to log in on that. Probably not, after the flap I’ve made trying to get in from the laptop. But it’s worth a try.


Weather Report: Scattered Scam Flurries

Honest to Gawd, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many scamming emails fly in over the digital transom as have come in over the past two or three weeks. Every time you turn around, here’s another wacksh!t scam. Check out the latest:

Begin forwarded message:

From: “Customer Service” <>
Subject: Attn: We have noticed unusual activity in your PayPay account….
Date: April 22, 2022 at 12:08:50 PM MST
Reply-To: “Customer Service” <>

Dear User
Attn: We have noticed unusual activity in your PayPay account

Thanks for your patience while we review the unauthorised activity case on a payment you have sent. We’re happy to confirm that this transaction is eligible for PayPal Buyer Protection, and we’ll cover the full disputed amount for you if there are any.

The payment for this transaction is now pending in your PayPal balance awaiting confirmation from the sender. If It’s you, There’s no further action required from you at this time. We’ll let you know if we need any additional information.

Transaction details:

Merchant’s name: Home Depot LLC.
Merchant’s transaction ID:973476LAIPXJ
Your transaction ID:5896321478LWISUSD
Invoice ID:49598-WPLS-268P-4178-9689
Transaction date:22 April 2022
Transaction amount:$1296.97 USD

If you did not authorize the charge, you have 72 hours from the date of transaction to open a dispute. For more information, We recommend you to get in touch with us.
PayPal Customer Service toll-free for the USA & CANADA +1 (805) 421 4441 or
Please don’t reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and click help in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

Great stuff, ain’t it?

It’s particularly interesting — IMHO — that they seem to assume the targets of their scams are spectacularly stupid. Guess there must be enough morons out there to make it worth their time.

Hey…we elected Donald Trump to the august office of President of the United States. We can’t be all that bright, as the citizens of a nation, can we? 😀

Still…you’d have to be even stupider than that to not remember the details of a $1300 charge on a credit-card-in-the-sky.

Forwarded this direly urgent notice to Paypal. Not that they can or will do anything about it.

But we can!

Pay effin’ attention, folks! Do not believe anything that comes in over the email. Even if you think it’s credible — today I also got one claiming I owed for some purchase I imaginatively made on Amazon, whose delivery services I use all the time — check, check, and double-check before you send money or information to any email that comes in over the transom. Look it up: did you really make that charge? Did you seriously not pay it? Really? Did you receive whatever they claim they’re sending to you? Do they really have your mother-in-law kidnapped in Guatemala?

Report these efforts whenever you can. Here’s the address for fake PayPal demands:

Google the business involved and “phishing,” “scam,” “email fraud,” and/or whatever other relevant term comes to mind. This should elicit a department where you can report attempts at fraud using the company’s identity.

A number of agencies investigate online fraud operations, plus just about anything that spills over state lines can be reported to the FBI. Here are a few places to report these fine schemes:

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
USA Gov: Report Scams and Frauds
Gmail: Avoid and Report Phishing E-mails
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation: Spoofing and Phishing
FBI: On the Internet

There are many others. Google where to report phishing emails to access the bonanza and possibly to find sites especially relevant for whatever scam has come your way.

Know that there are widely available mailing and telephone lists organized by age. I first was made aware of this when I magically became eligible to join AARP. Suddenly I found myself not only the target of endless pitches from that august institution, but for hustle after hustle after hustle from scammers who clearly hoped I had arrived at the threshold of old age absent some of my marbles.

In about three weeks, I will reach the 3/4 of a century mark. Clearly, this also is another milestone for hustlers, peddlers, and effin’ crooks: they all think if you’re pushing 75, you must be shuffling off to Senility Acres.

Keep your wits about you as you approach your allegedly Golden Years. The gold these clowns see is in your pocket and your bank account.


Exit Facebook, Stage Left

This afternoon I lost my temper with Facebook and announced, to the dismay of some readers and friends, that I was gonna close my account, and that would be THAT.

After one person said “don’t do it,” I reconsidered. But not for long.

The issue is that Facebook has found a way to override Adblock Plus, a fine piece of software I use to clear away the chaff and debris that gets in the way of smooth web surfing. All of a sudden, every third post — literally every third post — is a goddamn ad.

Do a little Web search to see if there’s anything you can do about this latest little outrage, and you find advice both from Facebook itself and from various users on adjusting ad preferences. So beside your FB page, you put up a web page explaining, step by step, how to do this. Nary a word of this advice works.

Okay, so the problem with trying to adjust ad preferences by way of minimizing the new Facebook intrusions is apparently that I don’t have a regular user account with Facebook. My account was set up by a marketing agent whom I hired when I was trying to publicize my books and my sideline businesses. The result was just hilarious. Any of you who might be thinking of advertising on Facebook might enjoy the tale:

So she sets up this account for me, and she’s very proud. I have several books for sale at Amazon, where their track record ranges from poor to abysmal. We pick a title. She asks me to keep an eye on Amazon’s sales reports and let her know, day by day, how the thing does. And voilà! She launches an ad campaign on Facebook.

The book had been selling, BTW. Just very feebly. A copy every few days.

When the ad came online? Sales…collapsed. They dropped from almost nothing to nothing at all.

When I reported this to her, she was floored. She actually DIDN’T BELIEVE ME. So I sent her a PDF of the Amazon report, over the three weeks following our launch. She was even more floored. We might say: subfloored.

After several more weeks of assiduous thrashing around — she did a sincere job of trying to make this work — we had sold NOTHING. Not. One. F**king. Copy.

“This has never happened before!” quoth she.

“I’ll bet,” I thought.

Finally we had to give up. But I was left with the account. And so I’ve used it to socialize. It’s been wonderful to reconnect with old friends. And wonderful to stay connected with current friends. But it doesn’t sell much of anything.

And that is why I find the new advertising blitz SO, SOOOO OFFENSIVE. Either Facebook has found some way to override AdBlock Plus, a Firefox extension which in general works very effectively, or Adblock itself has failed. If the latter were the case, though, ads would appear on other sites. Because they do not, I surmise this mess is peculiar to Facebook and presumably engineered by Facebook.

I would not have installed AdBlock if I enjoyed having ads shoved in my face. I do not go to FB to buy stuff. If I could afford to buy random junk, I wouldn’t seek the random junk on Facebook while I’m trying to focus on something else. Thus an annoying ad popping up between every three posts is annoying first because it’s an intrusive distraction and second because it reminds me of the considerable amount of money I wasted on FaceBook Ads myself.

On reflection, I will not shut down my FB account, but neither will I continue to spend hours here. Instead, I’ll continue to post links to new posts here at Funny, and hope any friends who care will come on over and join the circus. Maybe some will even subscribe.

With less time diddled away over coffee at Facebook…and over another cup of coffee at Facebook…and over ANOTHER cup of coffee at Facebook, maybe I’ll have time and energy to get back to writing books. Got to finish Ella’s Story. Got to get the bathroom reading collection in print and on a few local news-stands. Got to find new things to do!

And so, away! Perchance to waste less time. 😀

So Much for Amazon…

LOL! If this tale weren’t so pathetic, it would be hilarious. Wait…maybe it is hilarious!

You’ll recall that a week or so ago I discovered that the latest casualty to the Third-Worldization of America is non-chlorine laundry bleach. To my astonishment, I couldn’t find a bottle of it for love nor money, not even at the Albertson’s — a large purveyor of grocery and household goods.

So what do I do? Naturally, order it up from Amazon. Not only can I get my hands on this newly endangered species, I don’t even have to drive around the city in search of it. Yay! Especially since I’m too freaking sick to drive around the city. 😀

Okay. Couple days go by and I get a message that this fine product is to be delivered to my doorstep on thus & such a day…by 9 p.m.

Say what? You’re planning to deliver this thing after freaking DARK, here in Porch Pirate Central? Seriously? Well…yeah. As the appointed delivery draws nigh, the “track your package” function indicates the delivery dude will be along, sometime around 9 p.m.

As you’ll recall, I’m at Death’s Door here. Visited the ER four times over the past week. And absolutely positively am NOT of a mind to lurk by the front door till nine o’clock at night. Or later.

Certainly not for a delivery guy who can’t tell north from south. And who has yet to figure out that Erewhon LANE is not the same as Erewhon WAY, or that odd-numbered properties are on the south side of the streets in Phoenix and even-numbered houses are on the north side. That latter probably wouldn’t help, since the poor soul doesn’t know which way is north.

This is the guy who keeps leaving my neighbors’ stuff on my doorstep. DIFFERENT neighbors’ stuff. Sometimes it’s Josie’s stuff. Sometimes it’s Melissa’s stuff. What the heck: they both live on the next street to the north of me. How hard is this to figure out?

It must be said, in fairness to the hapless underpaid overworked delivery guy (What kind of company makes its workers run around the city until freaking NINE O’CLOCK AT NIGHT?), that the local porch pirates watch for Amazon and UPS guys, actually tail them around the neighborhood, and when a package is delivered to someone’s door, they drive right up to the front sidewalk, stroll up to the house, grab the package, toss it in the back of their car, and continue on in pursuit of the delivery guy. One of our neighbors, a techie by trade and by hobby, has rigged his entire front yard and street with a security camera system…every now and again, he’ll post a video showing exactly that M.O.

But that notwithstanding: having your employee deliver merchandise at 9:00 at night? Hiring drivers who can’t tell north from south and Avenue from Street or Lane from Way? Not even in broad daylight, to say nothing of by the dark of night… What is wrong with that picture?

So this fine product never shows up, not surprisingly.

I get an Amazon CSR on the phone — a very nice lady who lives in Jamaica — and explain that I would like not to be billed for a package that never showed up.

Ohhh, noo, says she. We can fix that! So she arranges for another bottle of Oxi-Clean to be delivered post-haste. She is exceptionally charming, and it’s hard to stay miffed with Amazon after chatting with this lovely person.

Now I get more messages of the track-your-package variety. This one says — incredibly! — that they plan to deliver it by 9 p.m. tonight. That’s NINE P.M. ON HALLOWE’EN NIGHT!

😀 😮 😀 😮 😀 😮 😀 😮 😀 😮

Ha haaaahhh! I have to ask: how hilarious is it possible to get?

Well, I’ll be perched in the neighbor’s driveway most of the evening tonight (it being Hallowe’en), partying and handing out Costco candy to the kiddies. So if I see the Amazon guy cruise up, I can grab the package before anyone else does. With any luck.

This assumes the Amazon guy can find my house, for a change.

So I’m sitting here coughing, when along comes this amazing email:

Hi, Funny–

We won’t be able to deliver your package as it’s been damaged.

The package is now being returned. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.

A full refund will be processed within the next 24 hours and should appear on your bank account within 3-5 business days. * We will notify you when your refund has been processed. If you don’t receive a notification about your refund, please contact us.

Now I ask you: how ludicrous is that?

What on earth do you suppose this absurd message means? How do you “damage” a plastic gallon of non-chlorine laundry bleach, packed in a sturdy cardboard box? Run over it with your truck? 😀 And how do they propose to work a “full refund” when a refund was already issued for the first effort to deliver this package?

It’s disappointing. Amazon’s delivery service has been a big help to me as I’ve become busier and also more reluctant to navigate the city’s increasingly insane traffic, and so I’d begun ordering more and more incidental items. But evidently, that is not a good idea. One would do much better to resign oneself to driving from pillar to post to find products that are going off the market (to some degree, no doubt, because of competitive pressure from Amazon) than to be run through a silly circus like this.

BTW, next time I have to deliver my neighbor’s packages that were misdelivered to my front door, I’m going to charge Amazon for my time: $60/hour.

Pace Facebook, Pace Twitter!

That’s pace, as in the Latin word for peace. Lordie, can those platforms be NUISANCEY!

The constant tide of “notifications” from Facebook and Twitter has taken to filling up my email inbox. Derailing these junk messages (“Olivia Boxankle commented on your comment to her comment!” “Wish Julia Neverheardofher a happy birthday!”) has turned into a BIG, time-consuming job.

Apple’s mail program has an inscrutably complicated method (if “method” it is) of dealing with nuisance mail. Instead of consigning suspect messages and messages from senders you’ve already flagged to one junk mail folder, it has a “Junk” folder and also a “Trash” folder. Exactly why some incoming goes to “Junk” while others go to “Trash” is opaque, and as far as I can tell, there’s no consistent way to clue MacMail as to where you want which flak messages to go. You can tag certain senders or subject matter as junk or trash, but the result isn’t reliable: it doesn’t always work the way you think it’s going to.

The result is that every few days, you get hundreds of messages consigned more or less randomly to these two folders.

And, just like Gmail and Outlook, MacMail often relegates legitimate messages from real, live senders — friends and clients and vendors — to “Junk.”

This means messages that you need or want to see often get submerged in the tsunami of incoming debris. And that means you have to scroll tediously through scores and scores of meaningless emails — in not one but two mailboxes — trying to catch one or two messages that matter.

Every few days I shovel out these mailboxes, confronting something over 200 messages in one and something over 100 in the other — not counting the ones that get through to the legitimate inbox. That’s THREE TO FOUR HUNDRED messages to have to review!

You wanna talk about time sucks?

Sick and tired of combing through this monumental nuisance, I realized that about 98% of the debris comes from Facebook or Twitter in the form of “notifications” flagging incoming comments or messages.

I use Facebook and Twitter primarily to publicize my blogs and try to peddle my books. Some years ago, a very clever Web guru — since retired — set up Facebook so that posts at Funny about Money (which was monetized at the time) would automatically post to Facebook. FB figured this out and brought a stop to it, so you can no longer do that — you have to jump through a series of third-party hoops, a process that’s rather too ditzily techie and annoying for me to be bothered with. So these days I manually link to FaM at Facebook.

Physically going there for that purpose leads me to browse through friends’ and enemies’ posts — amusing enough, but still: a time suck of the first water.

The appeal of Twitter escapes me. I cannot think of anything more boring or stupid than Twaddle posts. So it wastes less of my time…but still, it does take time to go there, post a link, find and post an image, and dream up a “tweet” to try to lure readers over…probably fruitlessly, if they find the platform as meaningful as I do.

It’s pretty easy to turn off “notifications” from Facebook and from Twitter. In both cases, it involves hoop-jumps. And in neither case is the “off” function 100% effective. But it cuts off most of the flow of electronic chatter the two platforms dump into your in-box. Facebook’s “off” function seems to be a little more effective than Twitter’s — I’m still getting some trash from Twaddle, but effectively none from FB.

So. At this point I’ve made myself kind of semi-demi-off those two platforms. To some degree, I’ll be able to view friends’ posts and comments at my convenience, not at some machine’s.

And one aspect of the intrusive dystopia we occupy these days is rendered partially under control.