Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm here hiding from IE8.

I still don't know what is going on with Internet Explorer and Google and why I've been locked out of Blogger for weeks.
So, GoogleChrome was downloaded again from FileHippo because I couldn't sign in to blogger from anywhere. It didn't matter because I can't sign in to Google Chrome either.
Firefox was still on the computer so download all updates and switch browsers.  Favourites still had blogs on it from five years ago and I still have to comprehend "synching" favourites from Internet Explorers.
One problem at a time.
I am blogging and I switched off the double word verification. Thank you Google for answering the numerous emails complaining about this.  Unfortunately I have to sign in as anonymous because signing in with my google leads to the IE8 message that it can't display the page.  So anonymous it is.

Mother is ill. Temperature was 38.5 this morning and she's pulled a muscle in her back which makes breathing very painful. Temp. came down to 37 this afternoon but it's the first time she's asked for the window to be opened for a cooling breeze. Usually she's very cold even on a hot day.  She didn't sound great so I pulled on the glad rags and reached out to call a cab when she rang to see if I'd come down.  I always know when she needs someone around.  Doc Marvin will call in tonight or tomorrow morning and I'll be back there on Wednesday.

Wednesday we start pricing all the white elephant goodies and hopefully it won't rain on Thursday.  I've covered 14 note books and diaries and would have finished with 6 covered boxes but I think I'll make do with 4.  I'd forgotten how long it takes to do one book let alone 14 of various sizes.

This Firefox takes a bit of getting used to but I did find a lovely green theme with little orange cats so the page pleases me but I'm still going along with IE8 until I can figure out how to import a very long list of sites even after culling a few dead ones along the way.

To Miss O'Dyne, I can't access any of your blogs, IE8 hates both of us.
To Antikva, thank you for trying to help the extremely computer illiterate. I still can't understand how I can be on the phone with you up country, me in Cheltenham but you roaming around in my computer telling me which buttons to press.  I've been to places in this computer that I didn't know existed.  Creepy little programs running in the background but fortunately no viruses but plenty of tracking cookies which are now languishing in the virus vault.

I was wondering why I hadn't had any accounts from Mum's pharmacy for this year, Gmail decided they were all spam and chucked them in the bin along with and a load of delicious cakes. The worst thing that ever happened to our was Google taking over. If I wanted a facebook type blog I'd be on facebook so stick that up your little netcrawlers looking for illicit mentioning of your Google name.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

And Galah of the Year goes to........

What a day was yesterday.
I lost my blog identity. Piss off Google+ and the Chrome you've been sniffing.
I was credit card scammed over the phone.
Then there was the burial plot/funeral insurance scam in the morning.
And in the afternoon they tried for the Centrelink pension scam again.

Antikva did her best but could only assume I bonked some button that connected blogger with google and deleted myself. I was a non-blogger for a day and almost had a melt down. I had a blog post to put up. I sent off 3 emails to Blogger, put Googlechrome in the sin bin, IE8 is my browser and google is default search.
I managed to get the blog page up but couldn't access dashboard so I clicked on create blog up in the corner and sneakily crawled in the back way to old dashboard and took up their invite to new dashboard. I was back, did the post and fingers crossed it was up but I still couldn't access half the blogs until late last night when Me was restored to JahTeh.

In the meantime I had told the funeral insurance/burial plot seller to piss off as I felt I already had one foot in the grave.

Next call was very official from the bank.  Now question time, how many of you know that the first four numbers on a credit card is the same for everybody?  Shut up you smarties.
This member of the Peter Sellers Memorial Call Centre had a lot of my information and I realised later where she'd gotten it from and the scam went like this.
Bank of Melbourne has been overcharging fees for some years and the department of consumer affairs had ordered refunds for customers. Gong number 1 should have gone off then as I've banked with St. George which has just merged with BofM so I shouldn't have been affected.
They had my address plus post code. Asked if I did internet banking. Asked If I did phone banking and did I do it with mobile calls. Checked my birthdate which they had. Asked to check my bank card details or my credit card details. Okay getting edgy here and my bank account is linked to mother's and a lot of money there so went with credit card which has only debt.
Before this, I was told that the consumer affairs person would ring today (Saturday) and when I pointed this out, she said they were working overtime on this problem. Gong 2, a government department working overtime to help a bank.  I was given a password. I had to ask the consumer dept worker ant for their password so that it matched mine and I would know I was secure.  Now comes the scam part. In order to have my refund I would have to pay a one off bank tax, if I had a refund of $4,000 then I would have to pay $400 and I could pay it at any post office then I would have the money.
So stupidly and knowing it was stupid as soon as the numbers were out of my mouth, I gave them the credit card numbers and the CVV number on the back. Bingo, they had what they wanted, credit card fraud was out of the starting blocks.

As soon as I hung up, I rang Bank of Melbourne, cancelled the card and had a watch put on all accounts.  The girl was good, she'd had so many calls this week about this particular scam that she knew all the details, made sure my last transaction was mine then cancelled everything. I felt such an idiot but she said it wasn't only old people (me?) that were being caught this time, the younger ones were as well and they were giving out mobile numbers so at least I hadn't done that. I don't give my mobile number to anyone except the nursing home. She also asked if any official mail had gone missing but everything like bank statements and centrelink (more about them later) are filed straight after I review the credit card statement. I mean I'm so paranoid about identity theft that I take my name and address off every parcel I receive from overseas before it goes in the recycle bin.  I will have a new credit card sometime next week. And I rang the nursing home to make sure that none of the residents did their own banking and the assistant DoN said her card had been hacked to the tune of $81,000 in America and this was while she was on the phone with the bank who were checking an item for $60.

Late in the afternoon while I was still wrangling blogger, another phone call comes in.
Not Mrs....... but my first name and last name together. This is a call from Centrelink regarding my pension from another member of the PSMCC. She was told (crudity coming up) to shove her scam up her twat and don't ring again. Surprisingly she hung up.

And about Centrelink who now are pushing for not sending out pension statements but want everyone to see their details online. After today I want everything in writing which I need to have as Power of Att. for mother.  So I'll be stomping up to centrelink on Monday to get her bank balance adjusted and told I don't have online access. Not only do they want me to go online for details but print it out as well.  With all this going on, I'm not surprised I was ripe for scamming.
 I forgot, the details for the bank scam, remember the centrelink scam from a few weeks back, yep all those details were enough to start off the bank one.

Friday, March 02, 2012

How did I ever do it?

When Mum and I started crafting in the early eighties, it was imagination all the way with very little in the way of craft books or patterns unless we're talking knitted tea cosies or baby stuff.  The massive boom in patchwork and quilting was still 12 years away and making your own jewellery no more than stringing round beads together.

The brooches came about when I had felt ovals left after embroidering photo frames. I mean they did have to have somewhere for the picture to show through. The one on the left, cream one isn't as delicate as the black. I exchanged green thread for gold metal and later instead of freehand embroidery of the bows, I used small gold metal bows. Then I moved on to embroidering on pure silk, highlighting with very tiny pearls and putting them into gold and silver surrounds.

With the first brooches I did everything. The internal support was cut from cardboard after being traced from my template. My thumbs did ache after cutting out a hundred 6cm x 4.5cm ovals and not one to waste, small pieces of cardboard became smaller and cheaper brooches without bows. 

The guipure lace trim would never go around and lay flat without a small piece cut out of the edge.  Something that one woman never got the hang of when she tried teaching a class using one of my brooches as her own. A loyal customer came to the market and told me.  So the roses followed the same pattern on each, just the colours changed and those bows were a horror to get even. The felt was glued to the cardboard and pinking shears used to make the zigzag edge which was then glued down without buckling.  The back went on with a simple safety pin pushed through the felt. I did have a photo but the computer went on strike when I was trying to load it.

At first it was just the guipure but I thought it was a little too plain so in between the tiny arches of the guipure I'd drop a little glue and then with a darning needle, pick up the pearls and drop them on the glue making sure the holes couldn't be seen.  I think the most I ever sold was 35 at the Christmas market of l989 and I charged a whopping $6 each. I made more money at that market than I'd ever seen and I bought a Hoover vac with it. The vac's still going strong even if I'm not.

By l992, the brooch market was dead and so were my photo frames. I was ahead of the times for embroidery, during the nineties it became big, ribbon embroidery, Brazilian, petit point, cross stitch and books for it all.  Then came Tracey Marsh with her 'How to make' books and suddenly every woman and dog became a crafter, even later came the smarties who cut out the fabric and sold ready to make kits.  Mum and I managed to keep ahead of the pack by changing the things we made, babies everything for mum and I found a hole in the market for wedding favours.  That was until dressmakers began using left over from the wedding dresses and made to match.  One of our fellow stall holders said that if we saw an idea in an American magazine then we had 6 months to make and sell it before it reached here and everyone was into it. She was dead right.