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Work from home?

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This is my situation: I was recently offered a job by an online European auction to work from home proofreading and correcting letters sent out to US customers. Roughly about $30-$50 a day for an hour or so of editing, five days a week, so roughly $150-$250 a week. I can definitely see a need for somebody fluent in English if your company and their employees are not yet you are starting to develop a US base.

Now, scams are one of my obsessions. I look for them, I analyze them, every so often I will add my findings to my website. Depending on my mood I may play along with an email until I get bored with it, I may ignore it, or use it as a stress reliever. (May my son never hear me use such language.) But while the "work from home" and "European" (but not UK this time) sets off a red flag, nothing else does.

- A normal woman with legible English is sending the letters to edit, she is appropriately responsive to all my questions, and isn't just copy/pasting the same boring message over and over.
- The letters read like a pretty normal company that doesn't yet have an auto-filled template prepared for their customers.
- The pay is in a really normal range instead of the usual "make $100k annually doing nothing!"
- Not once have I been asked to pay anything.
- Future payments will be twice a month through Paypal. Not through Western Union or by giving up my bank information or receiving a check.

I am currently on a one-month probation and then I supposedly will be officially hired to keep doing this, not to mention get paid for what I'm currently doing. At the end of probation is when the proper paperwork will be done for "taxes, expenses, fees, interests and everything else necessary to have a healthy partnership with you".
Taxes are pretty obvious (and if this is for real I really dread tax season since foreign income has all sorts of wacky rules). "Expenses" is a big flag. Fees likely refer to Paypal fees, but is another cautionary flag.

I have done a search on the company names provided and they come up as real and not as a scam. There is no online record of being a text editor for this company, either as job postings or as something to avoid. I'm currently waiting on a reply back from one company this is supposedly from to see if they are aware of this and if it's legit, but I rarely get replies back from those kind of emails so I'm not holding my breath. I do have a resume out on a few sites like Monster.com and sometimes I do get real job offers that follow the same formatting as the first email I got about this "work from home" one. (Including from a business up the road wanting me to be a salesman. I really wish those recruiters would read my resume instead of lying that they did! I am NOT a salesman! Tangent for another day.) My bank statement alerts also have no logos, headers, and very poor formatting that it DOES look like a scam email when it comes in my inbox, so I know from experience some businesses do have rather plain and outright suspicious emails by default.

The main two voices in my internal war is "you've played with scams so much you don't know a real deal when you see it" and "you're getting so desperate for income you're turning a blind eye to danger".

Either this is for real or scammers have finally upped their game! It'll be an interesting learning experience in the long run. I just hope it doesn't end in legal trouble and sleeping with a shotgun.

Snapfish or Walmart?

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Between Snapfish or Walmart, I'll take Walmart. While Snapfish is currently teasing me with a 30 free photo promotion to be active on their site again (never bought before), Snapfish and Walmart both charge 9¢ for a 4x6. (Well, according to Walmart's current price sheet, 19¢ in store or shipped to store, 15¢ for 100+ in store or shipped to store, and 9¢ if ordered online and shipped to my house.)

Sounds pretty good. I go with Snapfish. And then regret it at checkout. $11+ shipping!? Helloooo, Walmart! That $5 shipping option still there?

Both of them do have cumulative shipping that greatens with each picture you order. But I'll still take Walmart. Same quality, better shipping.

Redneck Justice

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Folks who claim to be legitimately off to try to get out of trouble had just better be very glad a lot of rednecks I know aren't major players in the judicial system. "Well now, if yer victim had shot yer brother and you were jus' gettin' even, we mighta gone easy on ya. But thankie fer verifyin' yer just too dangerous to let loose and probably gonna do it again. Kind of like how a junk yard dog only bites intruders and a rabid dog bites everybody. We'll have you put down in the mornin' so you don' kill any other innocent people."

Windows Automatic Updates

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So last night I made the mistake of installing some of Windows Live Essentials programs onto my computer and forgot to check what damage I caused in the process. It turned on Automatic Updates without my permission over the night. Since I had some files left open I needed quickly in the morning, I left my computer running over night. Bad idea! 36 updates had trashed my computer, closed and nearly corrupted my files from being improperly closed, and my computer took several minutes to load the desktop when usually it's very quick. The whole system was severely bogged down and sluggish. It took me over two hours to uninstall all that garbage! I have the Updates turned off and disabled as much as I possibly can, and now I'm hoping uninstalling all this will fix the problem because I really don't want to spend the next few days wiping and reinstalling the entire system like I constantly had to back in the days I was being a "good little user" and letting Microsoft do whatever they wanted to my computer.

OC Meme - Shanku

Self Portrait
The Rules::..

~1~ Choose one of your own characters (OC).
~2~ Make them answer the following questions.
~3~ Then tag three people.
~4~ Feel free to add some questions of your own.

Character?
Shanku Ravenwing

What gender are you?
Female

What is your age?
17

Do you want a hug?
No.

What is your job, if you have one?
I roam around and do odd jobs. Mostly hunting and gathering.

What is your favorite food?
_Anything_

Have you killed anyone?
...I don't want to talk about it.

Do you hate anyone?
Yes.

Do you have any secrets?
Not really.

What is your favorite season?
Autumn! They have the best festivals then.

Who is your best friend(s)?
Katari!

What are your hobbies?
...Hunting?

What is your favorite drink?
I like fruit juices.

When is your birthday?
02/28

Are you nice or mean?
I like to think I'm nice.

What do you think of your parents?
I miss them.

What's your weakness?
FOOD!

Do you love someone? How about romantically?
Love? Yes. Romantically? Ew, NO!

When was the last time you wet yourself?
...Huh? Well, I did get a little messy the last time I used a cup, I think I have a hole in my mouth.

NO!!! I DIDN'T MEAN IT!!! I SWEAR!!!
Good. But I still have to punish you.

What's your favorite band?
Eh? Band of what?

Ever worn a dress?
Yes.

Willingly?
NO.

I know you have...
It was never willing.

What do you consider fun during the day?
Eating, flying, running, rolling in the grass, watching the clouds.

At night?
Eating, flying, sleeping, rolling in the grass, watching the stars.

...Of the same gender?
About the same. Eat together, fly together, watch the clouds and stars.

Does anyone love you?
I guess so.

What's your favorite color(s)?
Blue and black.

Do you have a pet?
Well there's this little fairy dragon that won't leave me alone...

Are you crazy?
I don't think so.

What's your nickname?
Shank.

Do you consider yourself a happy or a down person?
Happy.

If you were a superhero, you'd be...?
Hawkgirl?

Favorite movie?
Eh?

What is your current occupation?
How is an occupation different from a job?

Who do you know that bugs you?
You.

Ever think about getting married?
NO.

Minecraft, Blood and Bones

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Any avid Minecraft fan out there has likely experimented with mods. Free things you integrate into your Minecraft files to enhance the game a bit, like more animals, magic, armour, ores, or other things. The really bold Minecraft fan may even download the Feed the Beast launcher that supplies you with tried and tested packs involving many mods put together.

Personally, I'm a fan of DireWolf20's stuff. Maybe because he made the first modpack my husband introduced me to, maybe because I'm an explorer and like to adventure around the virtual world to see what I can see instead of staying stuck in a hole playing with machines. But anyway, there's a rather difficult pack making it around the community called Blood and Bones.

The first thing you are likely to notice is that you are now going to starve to death very quickly. Then after you get used to hearing the constant crunching it takes for you to stay alive, the next thing you'll notice is that you can't eat the same foods more than 4-5 times per 30 things you've eaten. Because then you're wasting food and it's not helping your hunger bar. You can thank Hunger Overhaul for this massive irritation. The only good thing that comes from Hunger Overhaul is that you can right-click on crops to gather them instead of breaking the whole plant and then having to plant it again. Oh, and you don't heal from having a full hunger bar anymore. You have to eat cooked meat and other heartier meals than berries. Now, in the grand old days, smacking a cow on the butt means you get to chase that cow all over creation. In Blood and Bones, every cow in a 30 block radius is going to stampede you to death. The other nearby creatures may join in if they feel like it. The squid don't seem intent on joining this game, so go kill squid instead. They drop calamari now! Which you can also use to make sushi later on. Oh, and swimming and attack both drain your hunger even faster than should be reasonable. I can't tell you how many times one zombie has killed me just from me whacking it with a stick.

Ah, that's the OTHER thing you'll notice when you stop panicking about starvation. The insane amount of mobs. Along with the normal assortment, your mobs now come in fire, lightning, ender (creeper), poison/plague, thief (skeleton), brutal (very strong), baby (hyper little runts), splitting (creeper), fishing (zombie, can yank you to him), and I think I blocked the rest from memory. Enderman are a whole different ballgame, and I can tell you that you'll prefer lightning creepers to lightning Enderman. Lightning creepers die upon KABOOM. Lightning Enderman strike, flee, strike, flee, strike, flee, and will continue to do so even after its killed you. Learn to be a mole. You will want to dig your way to many of your items. If you have food with you, that is. The high creeper levels also mean there is easily 7-10 creepers waiting for you to leave your hole for the day. I have learned to dig a pit 20 blocks deep, hide 1 block below the surface and 2 blocks back with a 1 block hole to watch them plummet into my trap so I may leave more safely. Half the creepers don't fall for it, so I leave my nightly hidey-hole like a bat outta hell.

You can't see jack at night now either. It's hardcoded to be -30 dark. You can't change it. You can, however, wear a torch on your head through the armour GUI to see where you're going. I prefer jack-o-lanterns myself.

Modified vanilla mobs aren't the only thing to look out for. The Lycanite mob pack is also installed, and there are some wicked monsters roaming the lands. Big dinosaurs, gliding feather raptors, kobolds (Honestly, it's a rat, and it picks up items off the ground. Highly convenient to have when you die, if you can find it later.), ettins, trolls, lobbers (they spawn in lava and hit like a truck), jabberwocks (elk with scythe hands), manticores (flying bat with scorpion tail), concapede spider things, some really annoying thing called a remorbra that spits magic at you from the air, lizard men, all sorts of things in the desert, and a few Lovecraft water horrors if you decide to wait in a boat all night.

Did I mention you can't use wood or stone tools? You start with flint. By getting gravel and converting it to flint. Flint doesn't just come from breaking gravel anymore. One thing Blood and Bones has over the Magic Farm 2 pack is that your gravel CAN be made into flint. Magic Farm 2 gives you gravel bricks instead. Shame on you Magic Farm. SHAME ON YOU.
The Tinkers Construct tools did get a fun rework, and they're kinda the only tools you can use. They now level as you use them, and when you have access to a better material, you can just replace parts. You don't have to have several picks of various materials and experience levels lying around.

Now say you've managed to survive and not rage quit long enough to get yourself a good base, some decent armour, a farm, and a mine. Time to get blown up some more. Meet the Glenn's Gases mod. You've probably already encountered the highly explosive coal dust while trying to make some torches and then mistakenly left one lit nearby while mining coal. It gets worse. Down deep in the ground are two red gases. One is harmless and annoying. The other ignites with an explosion akin to a malfunctioning chemical plant. Have water nearby or a wall with a tall ladder. If the initial blast doesn't kill you, hitting the ground probably will.

So now you've got a base, farm, armour, weapons, and mine. You're stable, you're dying only once every few Minecraft days, and you're getting ready for better armour and HOPEFULLY to meet the End Dragon. HA. Think again. You've got to start over. Before you advance further, you've got to play with the Witchery mod and go to the dream world. And make a new base, farm, tools, and everything in the dream world. The only good thing about the dream world is that eventually you have "good dreams" instead of "nightmares" and there are only the animals mobs in the dream world. Then you find out you need bones to progress in the dream world. Now you get to figure out how to transport your items back and forth between the two worlds so you can progress on both sides.

And that's when I quit. The game is just too depressing. The ridiculous level of overpowered mobs and the constant eating (a ROYAL PAIN when your mouse is dying and the right-click is only working half the time) and the fact that there is no Twilight Forest or Thaumcraft was stressful but manageable, but then when I found out you HAVE to start all over in the dream world, I quit.

There's a lot more to the different mods installed. Some of you may love it. For people who want to have fun and explore, you'll probably hate it. I haven't been able to leave the base in weeks. My sprite has cabin fever. I'm keeping kobolds for pets until they despawn or bite me in the butt. Literally. Sneaky little devils. @_@

You are my sunshine, Clementine

Self Portrait
We're back on a Star Trek kick and this go around my husband has Voyager on. And we recently watched one gorgeous singing scene. I decided to finally look up the lyrics to some songs I'd heard the chorus of growing up. Good golly, are those songs depressing... Why is it most lullabies and children's rhymes are!?

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

I'll always love you and make you happy,
If you will only say the same.
But if you leave me and love another,
You'll regret it all some day:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

You told me once, dear, you really loved me
And no one else could come between.
But not you've left me and love another;
You have shattered all of my dreams:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

In all my dreams, dear, you seem to leave me
When I awake my poor heart pains.
So when you come back and make me happy
I'll forgive you dear, I'll take all the blame.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/


MY DARLING CLEMENTINE

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner forty niner,
And his daughter Clementine

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev'ry morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

How I missed her! How I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine,
But I kissed her little sister,
I forgot my Clementine.

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/



If you'd like to listen to some of them, Listen and Read Along has some lovely renditions. They're not Doctor and Seven of Nine, but still very lovely.

Whois

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Despite keeping my raven-wing.net email hidden and out of public eye, it has still landed on a spam list. Yay. I'm never buying Oakley sunglasses. The three most recent spam sites are vannaafyn.biz, dumrrsuub.org, and esretsgfz.net, all of which claim to be registered by people from sina.com. And I don't think those are the people I go to complain to because my domain shows to be registered to the people I registered with. Or a few more bumps up the registration ladder. Kind of reminds me of when I was in those college networking courses and reading how IP addresses were subnet masked a few times over, because in all honesty, the IPv4 addresses would have all run out years and years ago.

These annoying junk emails all use the same images in their email, each links to a different site, and then that site redirects to another site, so right now there are six different addresses all going to the same looking site.

I really hate advertisements. Underhanded, dishonest, and one more reason I have no faith whatsoever in our law officials.

Interview!

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Had an interview today. Showed up early, made them laugh, told them my good employee traits of punctuality and computer adeptness. They said I can call back in a week if I don't hear from them. I hope I do!

It's not a huge, life-changing kind of job. Just workin' at a hardware store. But I like that. I do have my office job from January to April, and I love playing with paperwork, but it's still an office job. I'm not ready to settle down to a desk yet. I need to be on my feet, moving, and working my muscles at least a little bit. There are the commissions, but those are few and far between after Christmas.

I was honest that I wouldn't be able to work during tax season and that I was looking for a stable job to come back to during the off season. From 9 AM to sometime in the evening and 40-60 hour work weeks, nah, not available those three and a half months. I hope that doesn't discourage them too much, but I understand if it does. Maybe the "keep coming back" part will encourage them.

Fingers crossed!

Surveys

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Still goofing off with the online paid surveys. I call it my "get rich eventually" scheme. Eh, doesn't pay the bills but it's paid for my site hosting for the past two years. Can't complain about that.


InboxDollars.com
My favorite. Paid to read emails, take surveys, and accept offers of either joining other sites or trying products.
$30 minimum payout by check or debit card.

InboxPays.com
Mostly a cash offer site. Got some weird database issues. I login, click on surveys, am asked to login again, and it can't find me. It's not a cookie issue, I have cookies enabled.
$50 minimum payout to Paypal. Only $25 allowed per payout from clicking on emails.
The biggest downside is that they require your phone number, otherwise you won't be paid. And I don't share my phone number with anybody after one of these sites signed me up with Credit Card Services.

PandaResearch.com
Just started this one. Not too impressed. Promises to pay higher for surveys, which means you're rarely going to qualify to take a survey. And most of the surveys in question are promotions. After getting disqualified from 15-18 normal surveys, I finally qualify for a tasty-looking food survey, and it craps out on me with a "service unavailable" message.
$50 minimum payout to Paypal. Only $25 allowed per payout from clicking on emails.

MindsPay.com
Basically the same as PandaResearch without the pandas. The "studies" are very misleading. Every "study" I clicked on was a sweepsteak to win a $X gift card after completing four promotional offers. Took some work, but I finally found where they were hiding the surveys. I don't really recommend this site unless you make $50,000+ each year. Because you will get disqualified A LOT.
$50 minimum payout to Paypal. Only $25 allowed per payout from clicking on emails.

Surveys4Moms
Obviously has some spelling issues, but looks promising. And has an option to delete your account when you want to quit! Seems to be nothing but surveys. I like it already. =)
$20 minimum payout to Paypal.


They're all basically the same. Get a $3-$5 signup bonus. Click a link in the emails sent to you, complete offers, take surveys, refer people. Well, if you're lucky, you'll get emails.

One downside is that you'll start getting harassed by sites you've never heard of and know your name. Puzz.com being one of them. Some go through lofty speeches how they'll never share your data, but remember that Facebook did the same thing once.

Being the cheap glutton I am, most of the offers I complete is giving my email address to recipe sites. I don't do credit cards, I don't take coupons because it's always for name brand items and the discount price is still higher than the off-brands I buy, and nearly all the offers require you to spend more money than you would make being paid to do it. I'm trying to supplement my income, not lose what little I've got!
I do commissions!
Portraits of people, pets, houses, and custom work.

Just Another Day
Weekly webcomic.

My deviantART
Plenty of things to look at.

Multi-Artist eXchange
A monthly art exchange program.

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