Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This is a test...

Just a quick test post as I do some year-end clean up.

But while I'm at it, here's a little piece of inspiration. I drive past this regularly and it makes me smile every time.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Anatomy of a Scam Email

I get a few of these a year. 

Scam emails are an inevitable hazard if you do business on the Internet. 

They tend to be more subtle than your typical personal scam letters, which usually appeal to greed. "Hi, can you help me get money I'm not supposed to have. I'll give you a huge cut." OR "There's a pile of money here that you know really doesn't belong to you. But if you give me your banking information (and everything else I need to steal your identity) I'll make you rich!"

Scam letters aimed at your business tend to look like more legitimate queries. But if you look at them carefully, you can see the telltale signs that they mean trouble. 

There are a lot of hints to indicate that you're dealing with a scam email. Among them, vague references to your services and location without showing that they have ever read your website. Often the recipient's name or the name of his/her business is not even used.

Typically these scams include an offer to send you a check in excess for your fee, which you're supposed to either distribute among other vendors or refund the difference.  The scammers' goal is for you to deposit the check so they can somehow cancel it and suck the funds from your account.

This isn't just for wedding professionals. Anyone with a business could be targeted. Here's an email I received recently. Hopefully this will help you avoid a scam.

How to recognize a scam email.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ever Green

In case you've been wondering, our tree is still up.

As I mentioned last year, it's been up since 2009. I am sure this seems ridiculous to most people, but it's become a bit of a totem for me.

The tree has stood through job loss, an earthquake (albeit a tiny one) and two massive storms, the loss of two of our beloved cats and bills, bills, bills.

As the pressures of adulthood (which at 42 years old I have decided I will never get used to) continue to mount, the tree stands in defiance of it all.

Somewhere, deep in the recesses of my mind is a much younger me, probably in footsie pajamas, wishing the tree could stay up all year even as pine needles littered the carpet like prickly confetti.

This tree stands for that part of me that thought, "some day, when I grow up, I'll keep the tree up for as long as I want."

Of course, 10 year old me wanted more from life than just to have a the tree up all year. So if anyone has a spare light saber lying around, you know where to send it.