To be honest, we don’t get much personal mail the the postal system. It tends to be bank statements, information from various Governmental organisations and stuff like that. The occasional holiday postcard might find it’s way in there, but not so often these days.
But what we do seem to get a lot of, is mail that is addressed to either one or both of us offering some kind of financial service. These usually get dumped along with the rest of the junk flyers. What we have seen a rise in, is post that includes an application form, where all our personal details are all ready completed. One such form came on Monday that had 4 pages (pages, 8 sides in total) that had my name and address in 6 places. All this information has to be, according to the ‘experts’ shredded to prevent dubious sorts getting hold of my details.
Now a big issue with shredding, is that the Local Authority is unable to recycle shredded paper as they claim “We do not collect shredded paper in the green recycling bins. This is because we are unable to process it due to the small fibers which can interfere with the machinery creating costly maintenance issues”. My email to them suggesting they look to upgrade their machinery (and their spellchecking software) seems to have fallen on deaf ears as I am yet to receive a reply. Their advice is to “only shredding the parts of documents that contain your personal details e.g. name, address etc” which makes the task significantly longer.
Then this morning, I received a item of post from an organisation (I’m not going to mention their name, as I’m awaiting a reply from them) that I had never heard of, that had my name and address on both pieces of paper. I was quite annoyed about this, as one of the sheets was asking for a donation. The donation range started at a single £5.00 increasing up £1000.00 and what really tipped the balance was that the £25.00 check box had already been ticked. The other page was one of those ‘sob stories’ that are supposed to trigger an emotional response. They don’t work with me I’m afraid.
I have emailed a complaint about this and asked them to remove my details from their database, and name the source of the information. I doubt that either will happen. I have also redacted my details from the 2 pages and have posted it all back to them in their enclosed pre-paid envelope.
Well the answer to that is that I don’t really know. I mean, how do you tell?
I received a notification that a ‘blogger’ had liked a post and was now following me. Of course I was interested to know who they were and to have a look at some of their posts. On opening their site I was surprised to see that the only post was the standard start-up “This is your first post” entry and that the about page was the the start-up page also. It was also worrying that the name consisted of word with what looked like random numbers after it. It didn’t help that his/her chosen avatar looked like someone from the Assassin Creed books.
It might just be that they are new to WP, but (as good as I believe they are) I think it slightly unlikely that my posts would be the first that a ‘newbie’ would find. I did consider reporting the site as being a spam site, but there was no proof, there was no anything really. So I did the only thing I could think of and that was to remove them as a follower. As I understand, they can follow me again, and maybe that time it could be different.
Well we all managed to get through the week without any major upsets. Some of the family were going home one way and the others were going a different way. K***, S**** and me decided that we would just go straight home. We called in Aldi and were going to have lunch at Ask Italian, in Wetherby. However S**** had found out that his house having a viewing and he just wanted to get back. So we left it at that.
R*** was home a bit later than usual, and he didn’t look too happy. He was droning a lot and then started shouting and banging the furniture. He was also getting quite violent. We gave him some of his medication that calms him a little,but it took quite a while to work. Eventually he did calm down. We have no idea what caused the melt-down, but I think it may have been some issue with some YouTube videos that he was looking for. Often when new ones that he likes are added, some of the older ones drop off the suggested list. He slept all night without a problem, and whatever it was was no longer an issue. It has been a long time since he was like that. We have had the occasional angry outburst every few days or so, but have not needed his medication for months.
I think there has been an update the the web version of Outlook.com and I’m not sure if I like it. formatting the afore mentioned break, there was a button in the Spam folder, that allowed you to block an email address. This button is no longer there. I liked it, because you could select three spam mails, hit the Block button and Outlook.com would display the senders address. That way you could make sure that the emails were really spam before you blocked\deleted them. Now the only viable option is to delete. I feel that Microsoft is taking away more of my control and I’m not sure I like that.
I’m still learning how to use this BlogPad Pro app. Each time I use it I find new things about the software. For example, I prefer to have my posts full justified and using Open Live Writer, that kind of formatting is easy. This was a tad more difficult to find the formatting button, but I got there in the end. Think it may be a long haul to fully master it.
I got one of those spam calls this morning. My phone is usually muted during the night, but whilst K*** and R*** have been away, I’ve left the sound on. It was one of those annoying 020xx xxxxxx calls. I don’t usually answer them on the basis that if it is a genuine call, then they’ll either call back or leave a voicemail. However, I was expecting a call or text from the Argos delivery driver for the package I was having delivered (yep it didn’t go in the car!). They had told me that delivery was between 7am and 8pm, but that I would get a call or text before they deliver. The guy in Argos told me that some drivers like to finish early on Saturday, so it would be likely to be early than later.
I heard my phone at around 6:15 and not checking the number just answered it. I knew straight away what kind of call it was when the lady (questionable) at the other end spoke. The recorded voice started with “Hello, sorry to hear about your recent FATAL accident …” It was at that point that I hung up. I still find it funny.
I don’t get many comments on my posts. This probably down to both the content and frequency of my writing, which I accept. It’s got to be good and often. But over the past couple of months, I noticed an increase in the amount of sp*m hitting my account. I was used to seeing 3 or 4 sp*m comments a month. Askimet seemed to be catching most of the offending content, and it all ended up in my Spam folder. It was a worry, that on one day in August, there was a total of 270 ‘comments’ in my Spam folder. The majority of these actually hit on one day. I deleted them and logged out. Just over a week later, when I decided to write the post about the August Bank Holiday, I again was drawn to the sp*m issue, when I saw that my Spam folder now contained over 300 items. Askimet at work again. How can I stop this?
I did the usual Google search and checked the many WordPress forums with varying amounts of success. One of the more helpful ideas was to enable a certain setting that the poster said worked for her. She advised that users should require all
commenters to be registered users. This is found in the Discussion settings. I must admit, it seems to work as, since that day, there has been nothing pushed into my Spam folder. I’m not sure why I have not checked this setting before, but I suppose that the amount of junk I was getting before August was so low, that I did not worry about it.
My only worry now is that it might deter the casual reader. We shall have to see.
Like many people, I suppose, I take advantage of the spam filter (Akismet) that is built into WordPress.com editor. I find it extremely good at catching the rubbish that certain people like to try and mess up my blogs with. Many of them are seem to be simply adverts for unwanted and unusable services, but occasionally something arrives, that makes no sense at all. A case in point is the text of the latest bit of SPiced hAM to hit my blog this week. I have copied into a graphic above. As you can see, it is gibberish. Now what, I ask (mainly to myself) is the point of this? Does the author think that we are that stupid as look at this text and say “There’s a website I must visit”?
My second point with this, is how does this ‘Monkey Gibber’ actually get to be an attempted post? When I found this particular gem, my stats for the day was showing no visitors and no views. As I understand it, if someone visits my blog, it is recorded as a visit. So how did it get posted if there was no visit? Anyone any ideas?
Next week should be fun! When we moved to this house, nearly 20 years ago, we brought with us a double wardrobe that had sliding, full length mirror doors. About 10 years ago, K… decided that she wanted a fitted wardrobe and that the mirrored one was going to go in the youngest lads bedroom. This worked quite well until he started having some serious anger problems, which resulted in the mirror on doors being smashed. Of course, as is usual we were unable to purchase replacements due to the design being no longer available. So for the past four years, that particular robe has had no doors. A few months ago, K… decided that she wanted him to have a real wardrobe and one was ordered. It is going to be fitted next week. But …. Before it can be fitted, the old one has to be dismantled, and the floor made good enough for the new on to stand on. That is my job on Wednesday. Much fun! You see, two years ago we had real wood laminated floors fitted in that room, but not in the wardrobe space as it would have meant dismantling and rebuilding the thing. I have a strong suspicion that K… was planning this all along.
This may be a regular feature, I’m not sure yet. I have a few ‘Pet Hates’ and I’ll not post them in any particular order, but just as I fancy. So this is not my No1, it’s just the first one that springs to mind today.
Direct mail. Now I don’t mean the rubbish that drops into my email inbox. That is easily dealt with. No the type of direct mail I hate is the stuff that get posted through the letter-box.
One of the worst offenders are the ones that try and get you to purchase something by Direct Debit. They’re the one that complete the DD forms for you and just leave you to fill in the bank details. I must have spent a good hour shredding page after page of junk that I have no interest in, just because it has some personal details on. And it’s not as if it’s just on one page! More than 20% of the documents I shredded had my details on at least two pages. In fact one of the documents was a mini catalogue, with a total of nine sheets. Each one had personal details on them.
Financial providers are another offender. Many of todays shredding came from providers want me to take out a loan with them. One I had received actually had all my details completed with the exception of my account number and sort code.
I know you can try and prevent most by hunting down that obscure little box, buried deep in the small print. But have you ever tried to understand what you ticking here? Sometimes you have to tick the box if you do want this rubbish (who does?) and sometimes if you don’t want it. I’ve often seen occasions where there are two boxes. One you tick if you do want mail from that particular company and another box to tick if you do not want mail from ‘carefully selected’ third parties, or vice versa.
On another track, this is my 555 post on this blog, and to think I nearly gave up after the first week. Next target 1000 posts.