A blast from the past– Russian dating scams

I just got back from a long trip yesterday afternoon, opened my email and there in the “junk” folder I saw an email from someone named “Agnes” (bet that’s not “her” real name). Not much to say, seems her boyfriend dumped her (can’t imagine why) and he’s a douche. Would I be interested in dating her, she’s in Russia, gave her contact info.

Needless to say, I gave this the once-over, then a quick hit of the “delete” key. Been there, done that, didn’t work last time.

About last time: In August 2009 I got into an exchange with “Aygul”. She was “hot” as they say, about 25, blonde and shapely if the photos didn’t lie. Like “Agnes” she just contacted me out of the blue (I didn’t then and don’t now subscribe to any dating services), and in Aygul’s case after two email exchanges she set off from halfway across Russia by train to Moscow, presumably there to get on a plane to take her to Chicago, where she would meet me and– in all probability having nowhere else on this side of the Atlantic to go– probably live with me. She ran into problems in Moscow– could I send 1,100 dollars by Western Union for tickets and visa—.

Nope. First, I suspected from the get-go that this was a scam, and a Google check of her name— she gave me the full name to send the money to– confirmed what I already knew. Even the “love letters” were copy-pasta, only the names get changed. Second, I was in the midst of divorce proceedings from my now-ex wife, and I didn’t have that kind of spare change floating around even if I had wanted to. Third– in the midst of divorce proceedings from a mid-forties wife, the very last thing you need is to have a mid-twenties beauty move in. You get more trouble than you need that way– I guarantee it. So— no money was sent, and the “relationship” ended with Aygul going to the next patsy to see if her luck would be better with him.

Today, I just didn’t even feel like playing with “Agnes” so a quick delete was the best I could do for her.

Now– a quickie thought on something I’ve learned of women. They don’t just come out of the blue and introduce themselves as a general rule. Think about it. Live in an apartment complex. A really hot looking young lady from down the hall gets her mail at the same time you do every day– do you think there’s even a small chance that she’ll knock on your door one day and want to start something? Fat chance. If you want to know her, you’ll have to introduce yourself to her– it’s never her introducing herself to you.

Now, if that’s the case with the beauty that lives just down the hall, what do you think the chances are that a lady from halfway around the world is just going to take a blind chance emailing a man she has never met? Riiiiighhhht. I’ll win the Power-Ball and the Mega-Millions lotteries in the same week before that happens legitimately, and you and I both know it. Women do not– as a general rule– just blindly fire off emails to strangers unless they’re up to no good and they’re trying to scam their next victim. So– that’s the first “red flag” right there. It was in a junk-file, which is an indication that my email filter thought it smelled too– that’s another red flag.

Hmmm— I wonder if there’s something about the month of August and Russian dating scams? Is there a connection, or is it just coincidence? Hmmm…..

Now, if that Nigerian general will come through with the money he promised (/sarc).


Quickie post concerning spammers.

This is just a quickie. Most of the people who really need to read it will never see it of course because they’re using bots to do their spamming. Still—.

First, I never even see most of it. It stops dead because WordPress has a pretty effective spam blocker. I know it’s there because I see the counts increase in my dashboard. Now, of course I can arrange to see most of it by making a change in my settings, but to date there’s no reason to do that.

Second– no comment from a new poster– spam or not– gets through until I “moderate” it and either accept the comment or reject/delete it. Again, the few spam that make it past the initial block are marked “spam” which means they’re suspect. I look at them and– usually– summarily delete them.

One real giveaway is that the spammer is attempting to respond to an old post. The first post I made on this blog gets tons of spam it seems, all of it “off topic”. One other giveaway is that the links are to sites that are trying to sell something. Still another is that there are no recorded visits to the site at the time the spam came in.

Wait– that last line– how can that be??

Well, it seems that bots don’t leave much trace in the visitor record. I get a comment with no other trace in the visitor record–it’s a spam-bot, gotta be.

Think about it. Josh leaves a record every time he visits whether he posts or not. I don’t get many visits from Russia, so when I see that in the visitor log I know Josh has been around at least looking. A visit from Belgium— Frenzie took a look-see. The United States– well, there I have a number of possibilities, from right here at WordPress, from my friends at EO, from a Christian forum I post on occasionally and of course a couple of Stateside folk from DnD. Of course I don’t know who visited unless they do post a comment, but I have an idea that a real human visited.

Bots never, by any chance, seem to leave a record in the log. So, bot-spam is easy to spot just by that fact alone. That and the fact that the bots always seem to choose antediluvian posts to respond to– what could be easier to spot and delete before anybody but me ever sees it?

So— bot-spammers, quit wasting your time. It’ll get nuked, I guarantee it.


R/C Boat repair

After yesterday’s rather shambolic efforts at desk cleaning, how’s about a few photos?

In my off-time, I sometimes run an R/C sailboat. It’s a M50/800 class boat, I built it from a kit in 1979 and made a couple of modifications along the way in order to make it possible to effect repairs if needed later– and replaced the original wood mast with an aluminum spar that was shaped special for the job.

Last year, I had the boat out once and had a problem. The sail-control refused to work, which meant I couldn’t trim the sails to the wind. I got around this problem by setting the sails manually “close hauled” and got some sailing in anyway. (Try that with a powerboat. If the engine doesn’t run– you’re done.)

Now, the problem had to be in the sail winch and its circuitry since the radio gear was performing flawlessly. So, some troubleshooting.

sc1 sc2 sc3 sc7 sc10 sc12 sc15

The first photo above shows the sail control taken down. Somewhere in the wiring harness or in the red-handled switch, that’s where the problem had to be. I’m betting on the switch here. Got the problem settled, put it back together. Now I had to re-string it. This can only be done with the sail control fully forward (trimmed in tight). The main sail’s line isn’t a problem, just feed it through the fairlead in the deck, forward through the sail-control arm and then tie it off at the eyebolt. Note that there are two eyebolts, the one on the left is a turning eye and the one on the right is for tying off the lines.

 The headsail line was a bit more involved. You have to feed it through the fairlead in the deck, then bring it through that heavy fitting just under the hatch coaming, (that heavy fitting is a re-purposed steering arm, used in this case to keep the line running clear of obstructions), then to the turning eye I just mentioned, to the sail-control arm and then back to the tie-off eye. I use 50lb. braided fishing line for this job, have had the main control line break once under heavy winds I can answer that you don’t want to go less than 50lb test line on this. Got her re-strung, now I just have to put it on the water to make the day.


Time to clear the desk.

I have a few things here, and since it’s been awhile since the last update of this blog maybe it’s time I clear my desk of stuff and put it here where it belongs.

First item: Way back in April, I mentioned a forum I frequent/am a member of. http://mjmsprt40.com/2014/04/15/this-is-filler/ As it happens, due to a number of things both external and–mostly– internal, that forum has run its course and closed just a few minutes ago. A few of us have moved on and will keep things up between us, but– no great surprises. (Note to Josh: No, it’s not DnD. DnD is still in business and still quite healthy, if what I see is any indication.)

The next item is actually an ongoing thing, kinda has to be considering my rather stormy divorce five years back now. My ex and I no longer communicate, and that’s a good thing considering that she likes to use people. Just so’s y’all know.

Some of the stuff concerning this in my mind comes from right here in these WordPress blogs– I’ve been following a few but recently gave up one– and from the fact that I stop at truck stops and look at the books on the racks there. Pilot/Flying J has “Choice Books” available, these are mostly geared towards people of a Christian mindset, and I will at least glance at these every time I’m in there. Lately, I’ve seen a book titled “How to get your husband to talk to you and reveal his heart”. I took a quicky glance through the book, it looks like the authors may be on to something– especially as my past experience says things coulda been better. The TL;DR version runs something like this: If you want your husband to talk, don’t set traps for the poor dude so that everything he says is automatically wrong. I speak here as a man: Once I know I’m in trouble regardless of what I say, silence becomes my native tongue. Then you wonder why we don’t talk about our feelings and so on.

Concerning the blog I stopped following: This one was written by a guy who thinks he’s a king, and he’s going to date and marry someday a loudmouth, opinionated (bless and do not curse) queen– and somehow, he’s going to have a home that you would actually want to live in. I wish him all the luck in the world, he’s gonna need it. Uh, king, you know that’s why old castles had dungeons, don’t you? One of you will be spending a lot of time in it— trust me on this.


Last item: Self flagellation. One blog I presently follow has had a problem with this. I come from a slightly different situation, being that my wife was abusive physically and verbally, but— somewhere along the line if you want a marriage to work it takes two people–OK, I’m a Christian and it really takes three, counting God– to make it work. No amount of repenting and setting yourself straight will do any good if your partner is unwilling to forgive and try again. I see– in a Christian marriage forum, no less– too many stories of men trying to rebuild their marriages after the wife has fallen out of love, but the wife will have none of it and the husband is frozen out regardless of what he does or doesn’t do. At that point I lose some interest in reading about what a piece of crap the husband is, and the wife skates free of any responsibility for the broken marriage. Excuse me, she is at least as much responsible as he is. I can’t in good conscience let her slide while blaming him for everything. If the marriage is to survive whatever happened, it takes both partners making a serious commitment to rebuilding the damaged relationship. Women seem to have a particularly hard time with forgiving past transgressions, they seem as a group to be incapable of it– certainly my ex could drag up stuff from our first marriage in 1989 as if it just happened this morning– but until she does there just isn’t much the man can do.


OK, I lied about that being the last item; this is: It was brought to my attention on the WUWT blog that WordPress has a new editor, namely the “Beep beep boop” editor. It sorta replaces the default editor we’ve known. OK, I used the old editor here because I get here through my dashboard, and usually use the side-bar on the left to find the place where I call the editor up. I did take a quick look at beep beep boop, and maybe next time I’ll give it a quick shake-down cruise. Right now though, it isn’t that much of a bother to get the original editor and just use it.