Saturday, October 8, 2016

Baiting the Phisherman

It’s happened to all of us. That email from a friend that is out of town and lost their wallet and needs you to help get home. It leaves me to wonder if anyone really buys that. Anyhow I got an email this morning, only this one was from David Huffstetler, the awesome writer of the Jack Harden series. The subject heading was ‘Sad News’. Being an author myself, I thought, oh, he’s reaching out to me. To me, something must have been going on with Amazon. Then I opened the email. Ah, gees, …. Poor David is stranded after a successful tour and needs me to Western Union him money because the hotel is keeping his luggage hostage. Forget that hotels get your credit card information when you check in.

Obviously, we all know it to be a scam. BUT… but … what if this scam actually hurt David. We can laugh about it, but seriously, this person is using his name. What if some of his fans didn’t know and really wanted to help out their favorite author? I can see a few of my fans doing that. Wanting to help me. not 1,950 worth of help but still.

So I decided I was gonna get this guy. He was phishing and I was going to bait him. Now I know I am not the first nor will I be the last person to mess with a phisher, honestly, I thought I would be the one to catch him.

Maybe not. Anyhow, here is our exchange. (Click on the image to enlarge)


Obviously this guy is serious. He didn’t even read my email. So I replied,



Then when he didn’t respond to Baby Roo…. I tried one more time.



Suffice to say I haven’t heard back … yet. But if you get a chance, check out the real David’s books.

Baiting the Phisherman

It’s happened to all of us. That email from a friend that is out of town and lost their wallet and needs you to help get home. It leaves me to wonder if anyone really buys that. Anyhow I got an email this morning, only this one was from David Huffstetler, the awesome writer of the Jack Harden series. The subject heading was ‘Sad News’. Being an author myself, I thought, oh, he’s reaching out to me. To me, something must have been going on with Amazon. Then I opened the email. Ah, gees, …. Poor David is stranded after a successful tour and needs me to Western Union him money because the hotel is keeping his luggage hostage. Forget that hotels get your credit card information when you check in.

Obviously, we all know it to be a scam. BUT… but … what if this scam actually hurt David. We can laugh about it, but seriously, this person is using his name. What if some of his fans didn’t know and really wanted to help out their favorite author? I can see a few of my fans doing that. Wanting to help me. not 1,950 worth of help but still.

So I decided I was gonna get this guy. He was phishing and I was going to bait him. Now I know I am not the first nor will I be the last person to mess with a phisher, honestly, I thought I would be the one to catch him.

Maybe not. Anyhow, here is our exchange. (Click on the image to enlarge)


Obviously this guy is serious. He didn’t even read my email. So I replied,



Then when he didn’t respond to Baby Roo…. I tried one more time.



Suffice to say I haven’t heard back … yet. But if you get a chance, check out the real David’s books.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Who Negan Smashed - My Theory

I hate Negan. Not for the reasons you probably think. I’ll  get into that, but first …

Spoilers ahead
If you are not caught up on Walking Dead, stop reading.

You were warned.


Back to … I hate Negan. For Graphic Novel readers you were familiar with him, but for those who didn’t read, Walking Dead spent the second half of season six teasing this ‘Negan’ guy, trying to shove down our throats how horrible he is. When we see him, what did we get? A guy in designer jeans, an expensive made to fit leather jacket and the quintessential bad guy slicked back greasy hair. Oh, yeah, he carries a barbed wire bat that he bludgeons people with.

That’s his call to villain fame? He beats people? I hate Negan because he is being sold to us as this ruthless villain. He is not, by the true definition of the word, a villain. A good villain has some good qualities, for the most part, those around them aren’t convinced he or she is a villain and they don’t boast, like Dr. Evil how bad they are. Albeit selfish, there are good motives. The Governor was a great villain and Walking Dead has been cutting up the cardboard ever since to try to match him.

By the trailers we hear Negan brag about his strength. He uses phrases like Pee-pee pants  city. Pee pant city? What? Is he trying to scare first graders. Is he a bad guy? Yes. A villain? No. He’s a brute, and that won’t last long.

Speaking of the brute … Season Six of Walking Dead ended with a cliffhanger that got people in an uproar. How dare they do this to us, viewers cried out and cried foul. Admittedly it was one humdinger of a cliffhanger. Kudos to AMC.

Apparently Pee Pant City Man smashed someone in the head. Ironically, the same one screaming about the cliffhanger are the same ones that are convinced that Glenn got the bat. Just because it went that way in the GN. Seriously, people on spoiler and fan boards are downright belligerent about it being Glenn and anyone else who thinks otherwise is an idiot. Don’t believe me, go on one of those boards and post it isn’t Glenn. They smash you like the current bat wielding cardboard cut out villain.

When simple common sense would tell you that it isn’t Glenn. Would AMC risk losing viewers, go to all that trouble to build up a ‘who is it?’ cliffhanger if they were gonna stick to the comic books?

Some say he hasn’t been on set. Some say he’s been spotted. AMC is not gonna let this secret out. They will resort to having the character who died on set and hide others. All the Glenn Slayers will be crying in their Wheaties. He’s not dead. Forget the graphic novels, they wouldn’t pull a cliffhanger of this magnitude if they were following the books. They’d leave us crying at the end.

So who do I say got the bat? Maggie.

Why? It’s heart wrenching, it’s bold, it’s unexpected, it will motivate the characters and story. Game of Thrones slaughtered a pregnant woman brutally. Their viewers didn’t stop watching.

Book readers argue, ‘it’s not a woman. Negan doesn’t brutalize women. Especially pregnant ones.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless Negan is a psychic or has xray vision, he hasn’t a clue she’s pregnant. And … remember she cut her hair, really short. It wasn’t the actress who wanted It done,  it was for storyline purposes. Short hair, dark lighting, pale from being sick … Negan thinks she’s a dude.

Smash.


AMC wants you to comeback to see who got it, they aren’t luring you back to see the predictable. That’s my take, opinion, a few more weeks and we’ll know.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence - A Non Spoiler Review

I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. That feeling of being enamored and falling in love … not in the traditional sense. It happened when I was just a child, I think I still believed in Santa. Not sure. But there I was seeing my destiny as I sat in Sensurround falling instantly in love with my future hero husband, Charlton Heston (Who cares if there was an age difference) and realizing I had an obsession and passion for all things apocalypse. 

Fast forward twenty-two years. Anyone that knows me knows I was obsessed with Independence Day. Absolutely loved that film, more to the point it was an abnormal obsession. “Yes,” I thought, “Why can’t there be more movies like this!” The movie jumped started my desire to create novels where worlds ended for various reasons. There have been movies since, I loved them, but they never hit that Independence Day threshold in my heart.

Fast forward … again … twenty years. The long awaited day arrived. I had been waiting for the sequel since it was announced in 2012, back when Will Smith was in his, “I’m in, nah, I’m out, nah I’m in’ Phase.  I spent the entire week leading up to it watching the first movie over and over again. Despite warnings from my son to not get my hopes up, I got tickets to the preview showing.

Here is my non spoiler review. Anything I mention that you think is a spoiler was in the trailer or on the website …

From a writer’s perspective I can see where they originally had Will Smith’s character, after he bailed you can also tell, that Rolland Emerich put (Not so subtly) screw you references to Smith.

Granted I am a little pissed that Smith declined the movie. To me he bit the hand that fed him. He was in bankruptcy when he starred in ID. It made him a superstar. I don’t want to hear he was filming Suicide Squad. Early interviews with Smith said he didn’t want to take a chance on a sequel or another science fiction movie. Personally, I think, because originally it was supposed to be a father/son story line, Smith dropped because they wouldn’t cast his kid.

The movie starts out as they prepare to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of defeating the aliens. The world is united and we swiped their technology creating a super cool high tech civilization. Old favorites return, President Whitmore is a well respected loon, Dr. Levinson is now a commander of the space technology and Julius Levinson’s reintroduction scene is priceless.

We also meet new characters. I especially like the addition of Deobia  Oparei

The first act sets up the story and doesn’t move as fast as you would hope. The movie is not what you think. It is not a reboot, it is not the same story line. It has depth, so pay attention to things that are said. Sometimes you’ll get caught up in the nostalgia of it, ‘Oh look there he is” sort of thing or the funny one liners and quips and miss the fact that are being given. Especially with the Africa scene give it your attention. So much is said that that comes into play later. There are two lines in that scene, spoken once. That two line exchange explains a lot.

And you may get teary eyed during the anniversary celebration, at least I did.

The movie isn’t all about destruction. They did that in the first one. This movie actually sets up the next one. (Not a spoiler they already announced a part 3). To say anymore about the movie would be spoiling it so I’ll leave you with this.

Was I disappointed ... no.
Did I like it …. Yes, really liked it, no I loved it. But I haven’t fallen IN love with it yet. I need to see it two more times.
Was it what I expected …. No. The trailers are misleading to the storyline.

The movie is a fun ride, often silly, but solid and a good sequel to a classic. Yes, I called it a classic.


It didn’t need Will Smith and he wouldn’t have made a difference. I would have missed Judd Hirsh more. If you plan on seeing it, you should. You won’t be disappointed and I hope it is such a huge success that Will Smith cries in his Wheaties.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sandy Hook: Are Gun Makers Responsible?

Let me start by saying that that the tragedy and shooting at Sandy Hook was a tragedy. It was horrible, gut wrenching, heartbreaking and the pain it caused for those families is unimaginable. As a parent, and grandmother of a first grader, just hearing about that day again is … gut twisting. Those poor babies. Those families.

I understand the need to want justice, to see someone pay for the tragedy. I would want that too. I’d be screaming out with every ounce of my agony.  After all, Adam Lanza is dead, he won’t pay the price. Somebody must … pay, but the gun manufacturer? That’s not the one. It just doesn’t make sense that a) A lawsuit was filed against them, and b) a judge is allowing it to go forward.

It would be like suing Lanza’s father for creating him. Even that makes much more sense of the gun manufacturer.

 For the life of me, and I wish someone would explain the legal logic, how is the gun manufacturer responsible. Please. I’m not being sarcastic, I need to know how.

The gun shop owner, I can sort of see the logic, (I believe there is a suit there) But the manufacturer, the ones that make the guns. How are they libel for the person who shoots it.

Now someone said to be that guns are manufactured with the knowledge that they kill. So are hunting knives.

If the families want justice, what about going after Yale Mental Health for not reporting the mother to the state when she refused help for her son. Help, Yale states was needed, years before the murders. Their repeated recommendation went ignored. Yet, if a pediatrician tells a mother that she is harming her child by over feeding, he is within his rights to turn her over to authorities. Why didn’t this apply with Lanza?

While I realize it is a privacy issue, revealing mental illness and all, but unfortunately it needs to be done. Remember guns may be licensed to an individual, but they ultimately go to a household where anyone in that house has access.

The horror of Sandy Hook built to its explosive and horrific end. The child with mental problems so severe, institutionalization was recommended, the mother who ignored that advice, the medical officials who didn’t follow through, the mother that purchased the guns knowing damn well her kid had issues, and the kid who committed such an incomprehensible crime, it makes you sick to think about it.


All of it played a part in that fateful December day. There are so many pieces to blame, but in my opinion, not one of them is the gun manufacturer. Maybe it’s my ignorance, or I am missing something, I don’t know. Perhaps someone can explain.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Where's Donald Trump: Quitting or regrouping

I opened up the CNN page today, and it wasn’t what I saw, it was what I did not see. For the first time and I could not tell you in how long, Donald Trump did not dominate the page. In fact, I was greeted with the murder story. That was the headline not Donald Trump.

Huh?

Since the Wisconsin primary pretty much Donald Trump has not been on the front pages. We’ve heard about him. Speculation. But after his weird and tantrum like concession tweet following a Wisconsin loss, Donald Trump has disappeared.

Now, he’s out there. And he’s in New York. That makes zero sense. He pretty much has New York locked up and in a bag. So why would he leave the trail, cancel California and Colorado, and just go home? In fact, news reports that his first rally in his home state was lackluster. Not the crowds, but Donald himself.

Gone are the ranting tweets at 2 AM, gone are the retweets. It’s almost as if someone said to him, “Stop. You really want this?  Just stop. “

There’s speculation that he’s regrouping. Amongst people I know, even Donald supporters, there is concern he’s going to drop out. There’s talk of that. I don’t buy it.

He has gotten himself a new, as he calls it, convention manager. A veteran on campaigns. It could be that this veteran is whispering in Donald’s ear.

Let's face it, the Donald has had some missteps recently. A lot of them. Including the Corey Lewandowski deal.  No matter how much Donald wants to stand beside him it’s not looking good. He boasted that he would not fire Cory, he didn’t, he just hired somebody to kind of take over and push Corey to the background.

Again I don’t think it’s regrouping, or rethinking. To me, it’s business.

It is odd for me to write a pro Trump blog. But in actuality it’s not pro Trump it’s reality check to all those who are second-guessing. To the never Trump people that are hoping he really is dropping out.

Reality is Donald Trump is a businessman. He runs his businesses. He is top-of-the-line. And then he goes on this campaign trail. All well and fine, he can run his businesses from the trail, but is not going to do it the way he did before. Increasingly with the schedules, rallies, inundated news coverage. Trump cannot do his business the way he did it before. He entrusts others, and anyone that has ran their own business knows, there’s only so much trust you can give someone whether they are related to or not.

No one will run your own business the way you will.

Donald is finding that out.

Anyone that is stepping  back or taking time off or lax on their work of their own business, knows it tallies up. There’s stuff that people don’t do or don’t do correctly.

Things begin to slip, revenues drop, it gets to a crisis and if you don’t do it yourself, you won’t have it when you’re done with whatever is distracting you.

Trump has entrusted his children. These are the same children whose father is running for president, and didn’t register to vote. If they couldn’t do something so simple as registering to vote for their father, how are they running his business. One of them just had a baby. It’s not getting done.

So Trump, seeing his businesses fail, not that they are, but they need his attention. Decided this was the best time ever. He hit a sacrifice fly with Colorado, and went home. Trump could actually retreat and not even step out his front door for the next couple weeks. He has New York wrapped up. Barring some unforeseen circumstances, where he blunders big time, or commits some heinous crime, he’s going to win New York. That is where Trump is. Fixing his business. We will not hear much from Trump until after the New York primary. A rally here and there, but nothing non stop like before. And then he will go back on the trail full force.

My question is, people like winners, will it be a little too late,. Will Trump step back too much that  this will be detrimental to him. If Trump emerges after New York he will not emerge the same, he is going to have a new manager, and he will present a different persona. Quite, less ranting tweets, nothing over the top. Will that last, we don’t know. A new presidential Trump will, and can absorb into the masses,  with nothing to make him stand out. Truth be told his brash nature  and antics put him in the notable lane. Without them is he Trump? Under the new improved circumstances, would Trump be able to ride this train at the same speed he has done before.

I doubt it. We will find out.


This is been the best election season ever.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When Parents need you

Our entire lives, especially when we are young, we hear stories about people that have to take care of their aging parents. We express our sympathy, but there's no way we could feel empathetic about it until we are in that position.

When we were in our 20s we may have even have witnessed our parents taking care of their own parents. Worrying about them, finding medical care, back and forth to the hospital. We understand it, we care, but really, we didn't get it.

See, the thing that no one ever tells you when you're 25 years old is, the older you get, yeah your parents get older, but they don't seem as old to you as it did when you were 20. The older I got the younger my mother seemed. She seems vital more different than my own grandmother at 75 years old. Of course my own grandmother didn't live to see 75 and her mother didn't live to see 70. I remember my great-grandmother at 65 she had severe dementia.

My own grandmother was in control of her mental faculties up until the day she died.

My mother in her 70s is strong or rather was strong. One day she was complaining that my brother was nothing but a whore while cooking a big dinner, and the next, she's hours from death. A flip a coin. That fast. Reality check.

We see it, but we have a hard time believing it. After all, the parent struggling for their life and that bed was just fine the day before, so there os no reason to believe they won't bounce back. And do so rather quickly. Again, they were healthy 24 hours earlier.

Something happens when were older, something breaks and it's not easily repaired. Like that  old trusty washing machine that you've had for 25 years. You know you keep replacing belts, or fixing this and that, eventually it will go. That is the human body. No matter how hard we wish for it to stay good, it starts to fail. Another reality we must face.

Because we do not want to accept that our parents cannot be 100% where they were, we optimistically visit them. Hoping that each day we walk in that they are better. While they do get better it's not at the pace we want. Days turn into weeks and soon weeks later, we find out that parent needs a little more help than we expected.

It has got to be the most frustrating thing for my mother. I feel for her. It took a while for her to get back to her mental state, almost 3 weeks. Her body just isn't catching up. There are six of us siblings. Each of us trying to cover 24 hour period or as much as we can so she's not alone. It wears us down. Those of us to have the luxury of working from home are those of us who bear the responsibility of taking more shifts. I suppose it's just as difficult on those who working 9-to-5 job. They get up, to go to work, they can go home, change their clothes, go to the hospital, go to bed, repeat. But they go to work. For us that work at home, like me, we go back and forth, deal with things during our work time. Work piles up, when we get home we don't feel like working. Therefore placing us under a hunugnsou pile that we have no idea of how that we cannot dig ourselves out .

I suppose this blog isn't about solutions, not yet, it is about frustration and hardship. If I would offer solutions anyone facing a parent in a hospital waiting for them to get well I'm moving to the next step before they come home, it would be to work together. Keep yourself strong so they can be strong

The last thing you want is for your parents to see that you are struggling. Either physically or emotionally.


My mother is getting out of the hospital after weeks, but she has to go to a skilled care for a few more weeks. After that, she will come to my house, which will begin a whole new way of life for me.