The Cats of Sydney Harbor Bridge

I happened across this picture on reddit today and wondered about the backstory:

QZwnh08

The post intimated that this cat was named George. A little digging intimates that it’s not impossible, but that there were several cats who lived on or around the bridge, some of which never came down. I find that a bit hard to believe, but you can judge for yourself.

28sydney-hb06

28sydney-hb03

28sydney-hb04

28sydney-hb05

These images were found at Purr-n-Fur – there’s an article there with more information on the cats.

cats

From the The Sunday Herald, 29 July 1951

Related: Below, an image of the bridge under construction in 1930

bridge

THE MOST IDIOTIC SCAM OKAY

I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from Nigerian (or other nationality) scammer, but this one just made my head spin with it’s stupidity.

From: “BARR. JOHN KURTY” <office_moneygram@yahoo.com>

Subject: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, MG Richard Peter; Adjutant General and Director State Military Department Washington Military Dept., Bldg1 Camp Murry ,Wash 98430-5000 USA GOOD DAY TO YOU.

MY NAME IS MR. JOHNSON WILLIAM, WHAT IS HOLDING YOU TO SEND THE MONEY RIGHT NOW PLEASE GO AHEAD AND SEND THE MONEY SO THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR BOX WITHIN 24HOURS YOU HAVE IT ONCE YOU SEND MONEY THAT IS THE ONLY DELAY WE HAVE RIGHT NOW TO DELIVER YOUR CONGNMENT BOX TO YOU SO TRY YOUR POSSIBLE BEST TO SEND THE MONEY TODAY BECAUSE YOU HAVE ONLY (3 DAYS)IF YOU DID NOT MAKE THE PAYMENT THEN I WILL DIVERT YOUR FUNDS TO US GOVERNMENT FUND OR BENIN GOVERNMENT TREASURY.

I WILL WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE PAYMENT INFORMATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE OKAY. MAY GOD BLESS YOU.

WHEN I ARRIVE IN THE BENIN PARLIAMENT IN COTONOU, I FOUND YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX CLEARANCE FILE LYING ON THE FOREIGN AFFAIR OFFICE DESK WITHOUT ANY ATTENTION ON A THOROUGH SCRUTINY I DISCOVERED THAT YOUR CONSIGNMENT HAVE BEEN ABANDONED BY YOUR DELIVERY AGENT. MEANWHILE, I WAS MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE TRY TO REACH YOU, BUT NO WAY AND THEY HAVE MADE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT YOUR DELIVERY AGENT BUT TO NO AVAIL. TO MY GREATEST SURPRISE, DURING MY RECENT ROUTINE RE-CHECKING, I PERSONALLY DISCOVERED THAT YOUR CONSIGNMENT CONTENT DECLARATION DOCUMENTS STATED THAT YOUR CONSIGNMENT CONTAINS PERSONAL EFFECTS MEANWHILE, IT CONTAINS UNITED STATES DOLLAR BILLS WORTH OVER US$40 MILLION DOLLARS, WHICH MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CONSIGNMENT TO BE DELIVERED TO YOU EARLIER BEFORE NOW.

BASED ON THIS PERSONAL DISCOVERY, I AM CONTACTING YOU NOW TO LET YOU KNOW THAT WITH MY POSITION AND POWER AS THE SECRETARY OF U.S DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, I CAN ASSIST YOU TO LEGALLY CLEAR YOUR CONSIGNMENT FUND, BUT YOU MUST AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS. BECAUSE I HAVE CALLED OUR OFFICE IN WASHINGTON,DC FROM BENIN, WHO HAS BEEN INTERCEPTING ALL YOUR TELEPHONE CALLS, WITH THE HELP OF MTN, TIGO VODAFONE AND AIRTEL NETWORK BENIN.

I ALSO RECEIVED SOME INFORMATION FROM OUR HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICE IN BENIN REPUBLIC, ABOUT YOUR EMAILS, THAT YOU HAVE BEEN DEALING AND SENDING MONEY TO PEOPLES IN BENIN GHANA SOUTH AFRICA TOGO BENIN AND NIGERIA , WHO CLAIMS TO BE THE MONEY GRAM DIRECTOR. YOU ARE ALSO DEALING WITH A BANK, AND OTHER NAMES WHICH I AM STILL WAITING TO BE FORWARDED TO ME FROM OUR OFFICE IN WASHINGTON,DC. WHO HAVE MONITORED ALL YOUR DEALINGS WITH THIS HOODLUM. YOU ARE ADVICE TO HENCE FORT STOP FURTHER DEALINGS WITH ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED PEOPLE, UNTIL WE COMPLETE OUR INVESTIGATION. BECAUSE YOUR DEALING WITH THEM IS TERMED AS ILLEGAL TRANSACTION.

I WISH TO INFORM THAT WE THE HOMELAND SECURITY IS ON LOOK OUT FOR ALL THE ABOVE MENTIONED NAME, MOSTLY THOSE WHO CLAIMS TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF WEST AFRICAN DEBT MONEY GRAM AND MONEY GRAM AND PROPERTY RECOVERY BENIN. ALL THIS MENTIONED PEOPLE ARE IMPOSTOR, AND WE INTEND TO APPREHEND THEM SOON. I WANT YOU TO PLEASE STOP COMMUNICATING, AND DEALING WITH THEM UNTIL WE COMPLETE OUR INVESTIGATION. I WISH TO NOTIFY YOU ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT CONCERNING YOUR BOX OF CONSIGNMENT THAT WAS HANDLE OVER TO ME AFTER THE MEETING HELD BETWEEN ME AND SOME OF THE TOP PARLIAMENT MEMBERS OF BENIN AND THE FOREIGN AFFAIR MINSTER IN THE BENIN CAPITAL HEADQUARTERS COTONOU, DUE TO THE DELAY FOR YOU NOT HAVE RECEIVED YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX FOR LONG TIME NOW.

ACCORDINGLY, WE HAVE WAIVED AWAY ALL YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX CLEARANCE FEES AND AUTHORIZED THE GOVERNMENT OF BENIN REPUBLIC TO ALLOW ME FLY WITH THIS YOUR APPROVED CONSIGNMENT BOX TO YOU WITHOUT ANY DELAY WHICH THEY HAVE AGREED. THE ONLY FEE YOU WILL PAY TO CONFIRM YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX RECEIVED IN YOUR POSSESSION IS THE WEIGHT FEE OF YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX WHICH IS SUM OF $75.00 ONLY.

IN ORDER WORDS YOUR BOX IS WITH ME NOW AND I SHALL BE COMING TO YOUR COUNTRY AS SOON AS I HEAR FROM YOU AND I WILL BE COMING ALONG WITH YOUR BOX OF CONSIGNMENT,BUT REMEMBER THAT AS THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, I AM A US GOVERNMENT SECURITY AGENT AND I HAVE THE POWER TO GO THROUGH ANY AIRPORT CUSTOMS WITHOUT INSPECTING WHAT I CARRY ALONG. AND AS SOON AS I ARRIVE IN YOUR STATE I WILL GIVE YOU A PHONE CALL FOR YOU TO GIVE ME DIRECTION TO YOUR HOME ADDRESS SO THAT WE CAN MEET FACE TO FACE AND HAND OVER YOUR BOX TO YOU BEFORE PROCEEDING BACK TO THE STATES. SO I WANT YOU TO RE-CONFIRM TO ME THE BELOW INFORMATION FOR PROPER UNDERSTANDING BY FILLING THE ATTACH HOMELAND SECURITY REGISTRATION FORM OKAY.

BENEFICIARY NAME. . . . .
ADDRESS. . . .
TEL PHONE. . . . . . . . .
OCCUPATION. .  . . .
COUNTRY. . . . . . . . . . .
SEX. . . . . .. . . . . . . .

AS SOON AS I ARRIVE I SHALL CALL YOU ON YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER THEN MEET YOU IN PERSON AND HAND OVER YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX TO YOU BEFORE I RETURN BACK TO WASHINGTON DC.
I HAVE TAKEN THIS ASSIGNMENT UPON MYSELF BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE REALLY PAID SO MUCH ON THE COST OF DELIVERY, BUT NOTHING WAS RECEIVED BY YOU. SO BE ADVICE TO CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY YOU GET THIS EMAIL NOW BECAUSE EVERY THING HAS BEEN DONE OK. THIS IS DIRECTLY FROM OUR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. ONCE YOU SEND THE MONEY, TRY TO NOTIFY ME WITH THE MTCN FOR EASY PICK UP AND FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION ON THE DELIVERY OF YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX,FOR YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR INHERITED FUNDS WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DELAY AGAIN . SINCE YOU WAS UNABLE TO RECEIVE IT SINCE .
SEND THE FEE VIA MONEY money gram TRANSFER.

RECEIVER’ PETER ONUORAH
COUNTRY:. . . . . . . . . .BENIN
CITY:. . . . . . . . . . . . COTONOU
AMOUNT:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$75.00
QUESTION:. . . . . . . . URGENT
ANSWER:. . . . . . .TODAY
MTCN:. . . . . . . . . .
Sender’s NAME . . . .
SENDER’S ADDRESS. . .

AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE FEE MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME THE PAYMENT INFORMATION.ONCE YOU SEND THE MONEY, TRY TO NOTIFY ME WITH THE MTCN FOR CONFIRMATION AND FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION ON THE HANDLING OVER OF YOUR FUND TO YOU.ALSO YOU ARE TO FORWARD TO US ANY MAIL THAT YOU HAVE BEEN RECEIVING FROM PEOPLE FOR PROPER VERIFICATION AND INVESTIGATION BEFORE YOU DEAL WITH THEM OKAY.

I HAVE A VERY LIMITED TIME TO STAY HERE SO I WOULD LIKE YOU TO URGENTLY RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE WITH THE PAYMENT , MY DEAR, THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU AND HAVE TO COMPLY AND YOUR BOX SHALL BE DELIVER TO YOUR DESIGNATED ADDRESS.BUT REMEMBER THAT AFTER (3 DAYS) YOU DID NOT MAKE THE PAYMENT THEN I WILL DIVERT YOUR FUNDS TO US GOVERNMENT FUND OR BENIN GOVERNMENT TREASURY. PLEASE TREAT THIS AS MATTER OF URGENCY.
SINCERELY YOURS,

BARR. JOHN KURTY
SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURIT

This is wrong on all possible levels:

  • Horrible grammar and spelling
  • American government officials don’t use the title “Barrister”
  • It’s written in all caps
  • The scammer invokes the name of God to try to make himself look virtuous.
  • Is his name John Kurty, Johnson William, or Richard Peter, or Peter Onuorah? The ignorant jimakplon can’t even keep his scam facts straight. Add to that the use of non-existent names which use common English surnames as given names or vice versa.
  • This guy is an idiot OKAY

I have a hard time not using language to describe these people that would not exceed the family-friendly nature of this blog. They are the hqiz of hqiz-eaters.

In case you got a similar email and were wondering, this is a scam.

the_money_picture

This does not exist.

Never send money to a stranger via Western Union, MoneyGram, or MoneyPak, or any other untraceable and unrecoverable means.

Stay safe out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Another phishing Scam to watch out for

scam-alerts2

Your Apple ID was just used to download Skate Simu 3$ from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.

To: (redacted)
Date: Oct 13 (2 days ago)

Dear W R Jonathan Graham, (clearly not my name)

Your Apple ID was just used to download Skate Simu 3$ from the App Store on a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID.

This download was initiated from Morocco.

If you initiated this download, you can disregard this email. It was only sent to alert you in case you did not initiate the download yourself.

If you did not initiate this download, we recommend that you go to iforgot.apple.com to change your password, then see Apple ID: Security and your Apple ID for further assistance.

Regards,
Apple

TM and Copyright ı 2014 Apple Inc. 31-33, rue Sainte Zithe, L-2763 Luxembourg.
All rights reserved / Keep Informed / Privacy Policy / My Apple ID

The problem here is that in the email message, that “iforgot.apple.com” was a front for a redirect to another website, “dejewelady.com” (which has now been taken down), which redirected to a phishing page designed to gather personal information, passwords, and credit card data.

There are people working behind the scenes to protect the innocent – later in the day, this warning showed up at the top of the email:

Be careful with this message. Similar messages were used to steal people’s personal information. Unless you trust the sender, don’t click links or reply with personal information.

The links in the email had been disabled, and as indicated, the phishing website had been taken down. But it pays to be careful. It is rarely adviseable to click links in emails directly, but rather enter them yourself in the URL window.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Just Telling It Like It Is

I am re-blogging this in toto from “Not Always Right” because it’s hilarious, and pretty much summarizes a huge percentage of the kind of nonsense retail workers have to deal with.


Just Telling It Like It Is

(Two customers approach the counter, the first being a tall, bald man and the second being an elderly lady.)

Customer: “Hi. I’m every customer ever, and I have a bunch of stupid questions and unreasonable demands.”

Me: “Hi. I’m every employee ever, and I present a negative attitude as well as an unforgivable ignorance of both the products my employer sells and how to conduct myself civilly with other human beings.”

Customer: “Like an idiot, I have approached you with no idea what I want. But I nevertheless expect you to keep your full attention on me while I waste your time.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ve already tuned you out and began to sing the theme song to Duck Tales to myself in my head as you bring us collectively closer to death without having accomplished anything meaningful.”

Customer: “Regarding [liquor], I will now proceed to barrage you with questions about it that either you have no way of knowing, or which I should already d*** well know the answers to.”

(I hand him a bottle of the liquor he mentioned and start to ring it up.)

Me: “I respond to your worthless questions with vague and unsatisfying responses, as my cranial faculties are occupied with lewd and lascivious irrelevancies. That will be [price], you personification of the downfall of western civilization.”

Customer: “I object to the price quoted, even though it is clearly indicated on the shelf behind you, and suggest some sort of extortion on your part, undoubtedly fueled by prejudice towards some aspect of my appearance, race, culture, or creed.”

Me: “Although mentally I am most certainly questioning your intelligence, parentage and/or upbringing, I merely offer transparently insincere apologies.”

Customer: “I proclaim in brash and vulgar terms my dissatisfaction. I make a laughable and grandiose claim of my own importance, such as being a millionaire, the brother of your company’s CEO, or perhaps the good old-fashioned ‘Do you have any idea who I am?’ I further suggest that I could have you fired effortlessly and fully intend to do so for the insufficient quantity of butt-kissing you have exhibited toward me over the course of this transaction.”

Me: “I sadly inform you that my superior is not present on the premises and unhelpfully refer you to the company help line. Quietly I memorize the details of your face so that I can fantasize about committing acts of unspeakable and grotesque violence toward same at some later date.”

(The customer begins walking out the door.)

Customer: “Vague and impotent threat to your person and questioning of your sexual orientation!”

Me: “Sarcastic suggestion to have a nice day!”

(He walks out the door. The old lady behind him looks thoroughly perplexed by our exchange.)

Old Lady: “Who was that?”

Me: *shrugging* “My manager.”


As implausible as this representative scenario seems, it is repeated countless times in various incarnations across our nation in every conceivable retail store. I have not yet figured out what makes people act like Internet Trolls in real life to people behind counters or wearing clerks’ or servers’ uniforms; it is as though they feel empowered to treat those who serve them with all the dignity and respect that Donald Trump or Leona Helmsley would offer a trash collector.

The thing these wastes of human cytoplasm don’t realize is that their cover has been blown. They may get what they want by screaming and bullying and calling corporate (who will more than likely give them the moon to keep them as a customer), but everyone knows they’re a douchebag.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Rabbi, is there a proper blessing for the Czar?

There’s no question in my mind that websites like Yahoo! Answers, FixYa and other such social answer sites are generally not worth the powder to blow them to Hell with. The blind leading the blind is what comes most frequently to mind.

But occasionally one finds an exception.

Listening today to the soundtrack to Fiddler on the Roof, this particular question happened to strike me, and I started wondering… Is there?

hqdefault

From Rabbi Andy Vogel:

Everybody loves this scene from “Fiddler on the Roof”: The townspeople acknowledge that in Judaism, there exists a blessing for everything, and then they wonder, ‘Rabbi, is there a proper blessing for the Czar?’ He thinks for a moment, then, comes up with the answer: ‘May God bless and keep the Czar… far away from us!’ The line is an oldie, but what a goodie.

But then, just a few weeks ago, I found the actual blessing for the Czar. . . .found. . .an old machzor, a High Holy Day prayer book, published in 1895 in Petrokov (today Poland, but until 1919, part of the Russian Empire). I thumbed through it, and saw that it contains the full Hebrew text of the High Holy Day prayers, and includes a Yiddish commentary and translation on every page. What a find! And then, turning to the Torah service, on page 97 of the Rosh Hashanah volume, I saw it, the prayer for the Czar, beautifully composed:

“May the One who gives power to kings, and sovereignty to princes; may the One who is the Ruler of rulers… bless and keep, guard and aid, exalt and raise the Czar Nicholas Alexanderovich, and his widowed mother, Czarina Marie Feodorovna [here, my knowledge of the Russian monarchy is a little weak], and his wife the royal Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna, and their heir, Grigory… May God save them from all harm and pain, and may all their enemies fall before them. And may the Merciful One put in the heart of the Czar compassion and good deeds for the People of Israel…” 

Mazel tov, Rabbi!

The Old Wolf has spoken.