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May 2005

Earning money while lying on your back

Who knew - just lying here and I discover I've won a big bag of money. Got this note from Eva.

Nacional Loterias Sp, Calle aberto 1-5a, Madrid Branch, Spain.

Reference numbers: SP/67-B1174832


We wish to congratulate you over your success in our computer balloting sweepstake held on 23rd April 2005. This is a millennium scientific computer game in which email addresses were used. It is a promotional program aimed at encouraging internet users; therefore you do not need to buy ticket to enter for it.

Your email address attached to ticket number 12 15 21 27 35, drew the lucky star numbers which consequently won the draw in the Second category. You have been approve for the star prize of One million one hundred thousand euros(1.1m euros).


You are advised to keep this winning very confidential until you receive your lump prize in your account.This is a protective measure to avoid double claiming by people you may tell. Send your winning ticket numbers, reference numbers amount won and your personal data for processing of your claim to both emails [email protected] and [email protected] Name:Sanchez Fernandez

Tel:+34 62 8740 597.

Address: Avenida de America 12, Madrid Spain.

All prizes must be claimed within three weeks.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. Eva Carlos.

cc:[email protected]

And it must be true, because it was a millennium scientific computer game - still running from 2000. I can hardly wait to send off all my personal banking info and get my money. I'll be able to buy lots of ink jet cartridges, sexual enhancement drugs, and make the brokerage payments that have tied up my millions in a Nairobi bank account. Eva did ask me to keep this quiet, but I was too excited. Please, no one else claim this before me.

Getting ME up

That's been my challenge the last few days. Same thing happened a few years ago, caught me unawares on Monday. Improving with drugs and rest now.

I'd bent over very slightly while outside, and suddenly was hit by a pain in my lower back and then a muscle spasm so sharp I almost passed out. I made it into the house, found some good drugs for muscle spasm and pain, and collapsed on the couch. A few hours later the drugs wore off, and I was stuck downstairs with my salvation upstairs on the bathroom counter. Luckily I had my cell, and my son had his car at work, and his boss is understanding. My kids have both been a big help, making meals, doing dishes, feeding the cat - I couldn't manage on my own. After a few days of drugs and napping, I can at least stand a litle easier, and walk very carefully and very slowly downstairs - slightly tipping to the left (as in my politics).

I suspect this is related to a slight disc problem I've had in my lower back for years. I used to do some exercises designed to tighten the muscles around the spine - haven't lately. This is the price.

Meanwhile I lie in bed all day, surfing the net, sipping the occasional beer through a bendy straw.

Getting it up

Started off last week with just a general slowness, then problems keeping it up, then eventually couldn't even get it up. Pushed the right button, long wait, then finally a BIOS error - unable to read boot device. Laptop drive had died.

PC is only a year and a half old, it's a little soon for that problem, but luckily I'd bought an extended warranty through my company. Good news was that within a day I had a new drive. Bad news was that it's an empty drive, no Windows, no nothing. I do back up occasionally, luckily I was able to keep the system running long enough to get a copy of my Outlook email and contacts, various documents, and my digital pictures.  Couldn't find my three recovery CD's (don't remember even getting them) but can order replacements from Toshiba. Then it's just a long tedious process of reloading everything. In the meantime I have a backup PC - much slower, on Win 98. Can't load my Outlook backup, because this system only had Outlook Express, my Office 2003 won't load here. Sigh.

My new plan is to have a real backup plan. Do you have one? What if your system were to die? For me, Outlook does an archive of the personal folder to a file, which can just drag-drop to a CD-R. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements which can archive to a CD-RW and then just add pics to the archive file as they are loaded into the PC from the camera. Documents, as required. Contacts and such are HotSync'd to a Palm Pilot. If I has business applications here, I'd even go to the next step of another set of CD's kept offsite.

Election 2005

I found an interesting article by Michael Jones via BlogsCanada the other day on Adscam and the Gomery enquiry. He says, in part:

The core problem at hand in Adscam is that the sponsorship program was a lesson in poor operational planning from the get-go. The program wasn’t formal policy and existed in the shadows, there were few operational or evaluative standards in place, and as such there were few checks on who could distribute monies to whom for what. It was designed to be abused.
The scandal, thus, is somewhat moot.  Mid-level Liberal apparatchiks move in to exploit a gaping loophole.

He goes on to call for the guilty to be purged and punished, and to continue on and fix the operational problems and gaps to reduce the chance of this re-occuring.

I agree with the concept, but I'm not sure how this will come about. Does anyone care anymore? Does anyone still believe in the political process?  Election turnout continues to slowly drop, from 67% in 1997 to 61% in 2004. We've done better in the past, for example 79% in June 1962 to re-elect Dief the Chief in another minority government.  The youth vote (18-30) in the last election actually increased to 38%, up from only 25% in 2000. This was after a massive push by Elections Canada, which included regional forums and a mailout to all that had just turned 18, and well meaning but awkward attempts by the politicians to connect. Is their problem with the medium, or the message? Maybe both. Youths were told to get involved, have a say, make a difference. After what's happened over the last year (or hasn't happened) I suspect the youth vote, and the public in general, will be be too fed up to bother to vote. Even the act of calling an election and spending all our money yet again will backfire on whatever party blinks first. According to a recent CBC report, recent polls indicate an increase in Conservative seats, and a possible minority government for them - but that assumes that there are enough voters to support the  relative projections. The same polls indicate 11% do not want an election now, and 19% "at no time in the near future" and 53% not until after the Gomery results are released in October.

This will be an interesting ride (again).