Friday, May 24, 2019

Do NOT Give Information to "Survey" Sites


When you see advertisements for "paid survey sites" claiming you can make a given amount of money (often $300) for signing up, stay away. 
The first thing they ask for is your email address, and that's where the trouble begins.
You then receive a huge list of options to answer "yes" or "no" to. These can vary from "do you want to sign up with Survey Company X?" to "Do you have lower back pain" or "do you want to pre-arrange a funeral for your elderly parakeet?"
Some of the survey companies they suggest signing up with are legitimate. Here's the thing: anyone can create an account with a survey company and get a referral link. 
Whichever of the offers you answer "yes" to now has your email address, and this can lead to trouble down the road.
I've avoided these sketchy survey aggregators for many years, but I started taking paid surveys back in the early 2000s when I was also naive enough to pay for "top seekrit" survey lists. 
For the past few days, I have been receiving a crap-ton of phishing emails from addresses ending in rf-cheats.ru
Some of these emails initially appeared to have come from me.
I have changed my password four times in the past two days.
The things you do in the past can come back to haunt you years later.
Do NOT enter these survey aggregator sites.
You will not come away with $300.
You will come away with well more than $300 worth of aggravation.
If I achieve nothing else in this life, should I manage to steer people away from "survey" scams, I will feel like I've done something right.

~Cie~

Here are five tried and true legitimate GPT/Survey sites:

Please enter referral code R7RPQG and we'll both get points. Irazoo is my current favorite GPT site.







Thursday, May 23, 2019

It's FOAD Thursday, and Spammers can FOAD Every Day


Click the image to enlarge.
Dear Delivered Ones, today is FOAD Thursday, and it is my most fervent wish that all spammers would FOAD and so would the multi-billion dollar diet industry, which is directly responsible for sparking millions of eating disorders and destroying countless lives. Since I haven't yet found a spell to make that happen, I can at least try and prevent people from losing their money to spammers.
You see the email address that I've circled in red? That is your number one clue that this email is nothing but Spam that has escaped the can and is going on a rampage.
Don't bother unsubscribing from these emails. It doesn't work. Instead, block the email and report it as Spam.
In Gmail, that looks like this:
You go to the three dots in the right-hand corner of your inbox and select the "block" option. Sometimes when you say yes to blocking a sender, it also asks if you want to move the conversation to Spam, which you should do. 
I get irritated with Gmail when a glut of these spam emails get through, but I still like them better than a lot of the other options, so I stay with them.
I also changed my Google password, because the email appeared to have come from me. I have gotten multiple spam emails today alone from accounts with the "rf-cheats.ru" extension. The inevitable "keto diet" bullshit, but also offers for "CBD oil" and encouragement to "refinance your mortgage."
I don't have a mortgage, and the "CBD oil" they're selling is probably made from cooking oil and oregano if you're lucky, or some sort of noxious weed they picked from the side of the road if you aren't.
BLOCK ALL SUCH EMAILS AND REPORT THEM AS SPAM.
Change your password immediately if any of them initially appear to have been sent from your email address. Your account has been compromised.
Please take care to protect yourself from these bastards.

~Cie~


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Help Fight MS Deliciously

Image copyright Hoaluu on Pixabay

Hey, Delivered Ones! This isn't something I'm getting paid to tell you, but it's something that's nice to know about.
Now you can have an easy dinner and donate to the cause of fighting MS all at the same time!
From now through June 30 when you order from Papa Murphy's online, enter the code FIGHTMS, and Papa Murphy's will donate 25% of your order's total value to Meat Fight, a charity committed to raising money for MS research.
I like to order on $10 Tuesdays and $5 Fridays. For those not in the know, every Tuesday at Papa Murphy's you can get any large pizza--and I mean ANY large pizza--for $10. Go to town and order a large special stuffed crust--it's still $10!
I usually pick up 3 large pepperoni pizzas on $5 Fridays, when their large thin crust pepperoni pizzas are, you know, $5 apiece. This gives my son and me three days worth of lunches at $2.50 per person. You can't go wrong with those prices!
I now feel even better about ordering pizza knowing that I'm donating to the worthy cause of funding research for MS and making life a little better for people living with MS. You can too! Go on, order up!

~Cie~

Sunday, May 19, 2019

New Happenings from Around the Netherworld

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Hello Delivered Ones, Horror Harridans, and other followers of things Netherworldly! We have a few new things going on in our twisted little Universe, so stop your grinnin' and drop your linen, it's time for announcements!

My new pal Ghost Town Grover is getting used to my inevitable presence and he and his spooky friends are even springing new ideas on me for stuff we can sell. This newfangled website business is kinda weird for good ole Grover, but he don't mind if it gets the word out about his General Store.

We have a couple of new blog hops in the Netherworld family. First is the Silent Sunday Blog Hop over at Dark Hearts Love Too, the Netherworld's poetry cafe.  Pretty much the only rule is you have to share a photo that was taken by you. Swing on by and share a link if that sort of thing is your bag, Baby!

Next, we have the Come As You Are Party happening at the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Camp. This party was created in response to the fact that a lot of blog hops really aren't very welcoming of people who aren't normal and "pretty" in a very narrow way. This is the blog hop for the Rest of Us: the unwanted, the unloved, the downtrodden, the fallen behind, the pushed aside, the Outsiders. You can share pretty much whatever you want with a couple of exceptions. If you've ever felt like you just don't belong, this is the place for you.

We hope a few of you will come on by and check out our new to-do's!

~Cie~

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Weekend Wrap-Up 18 May 2019

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Ever have one of those weeks?
On the positive side, the Good Stuff From Grover website is off to a...well, to a start. I've designed postcards for it. But...
Well, Grover tells it better than I do. You can read what he has to say.
To make a long story short, I ended up contacting Vistaprint. I've had them design things for me in the past. The quality of their work is solid. 
MS Word's flyer template (which I was going to use for postcards) irritated me. When I designed the business cards, each card changed to follow suit with the others. Not so with the flyers, and I was getting really irritated. 
I have a friend acting as a guinea pig for me to see if it is practical to ship the Peanut Butter Avalanche cookies.
I have gotten rid of the Forester. As I told my son, if something becomes an albatross, get rid of it. The Forester has been an albatross for a long time, pretty much since we bought it, in fact. A lot of money was sunk into that car. When buying a used car in the future, I am going to take it to the mechanic to have them assess it. I don't want to be driving around in another Albatross Express.


This week's food comparison:
Oscar Meyer Natural Selects hot dogs are good.
Oscar Meyer Smokies are nasty. Sadly, I bought 5 packages of these at the Kroger Buy 5 Save $5 sale. I thought I was scoring a deal getting them at 99 cents per package. No such luck. They aren't bad enough to take back to the store, because I know they'll just be tossed if I do that, but they won't make another appearance in my house.
We have a new microwave, which we got from Home Depot. The microwave ended up costing $10, thanks to the register clerk aggressively signing my son up for a credit card. This is a double-edged sword.
My son is unemployed. When he told the clerk this, she said "I'll just put in the minimum amount," which, it turns out, was $35,000. She sent this amount before he had a chance to say anything about it, and he was approved for a credit card with a $500 limit, which gave us the microwave at $50 off.
Myself, I'd have let it ride and just put the credit card aside and never used it. My son was so worried about credit card fraud that we ended up going back to the store where the customer service clerk called the credit card company. They reassured my son that as long as he made payments if he used the card, everything would be fine.
He didn't expect that he would qualify for the card. The only reason he let the clerk go ahead and take his information was the fact that even if he didn't qualify, we'd have gotten $25 off the microwave.
I don't much like what my son refers to as used car salesman tactics to try and get people to sign up for credit cards or anything else. Despite the fact that we got the microwave at a serious discount, it ended up negatively affecting his feelings about Home Depot.
We've ended up pushing the closing on the Grover Hotel out until a structural engineer can come in and examine things. The building needs to be up to code before we can move in. 
In other news, I'm casting my net about for a good used Prius, which we will buy outright. We'll be having to come to Denver once a week, and the gas mileage on the Ford Fusion will put us in the poor house if that's the car we're using. It gets 17 MPG in the city and 22 on the highway. We're going to need to do better than that.
I saw a picture of a used Tesla, which was so glorious that I swear I would have stuck my left leg in a wood chipper if doing so meant I could have that car. Sadly, at $42,000 it will never be mine. But I won't wait for a midnight confession to tell you that I love it.

~Cie~


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How to Melt Almond Bark in the Oven


Hi, Delivered Ones! I wanted to make these delicious no-bake Avalanche Cookies from Dinner at the Zoo, but my house has a broken microwave, which is making me very sad. 
I was looking for instructions to melt the almond bark on the stove since I haven't made candy on the stove in a long time, but I found an even better way which doesn't involve me standing over the stove stirring for a year. I overdid things both yesterday and today, so my fibromyalgia is bad right now, and my legs are very sore.
I just put the almond bark in my glass baking dish at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Then I can stir it together with the other ingredients.
Time and temperature edited on 15 May 2019. This oven does not go lower than 170 degrees and I found that with the product I was using, five extra minutes for melting were necessary. I find that melting the product in the oven at a low temperature leaves it warm and soft as opposed to like working with lava, as happens when melting it in the microwave.
My "Good Stuff from Grover" website is live, and you can head on over there and meet Ghost Town Grover. I'm testing out recipes for baked goods to sell from Ghost Town Grover's general store, along with handcrafted items. I felt it would be best to keep the WAH/affiliate blog separate from the handcrafted gifts and goodies blog.
I hope your microwave doesn't break, but if it does or if you just want an alternate way to melt almond bark, give the oven method a try!

Here is the recipe for the wonderful Avalanche Cookies. I subbed almond butter for the peanut butter because my son isn't keen for peanut butter. There's no accounting for taste in some people! ;-)

16 ounces white almond bark also known as white candy coating or candy melts
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups rice krispies cereal
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup miniature chocolate chips divided use
INSTRUCTIONS
Place 1/2 cup of the miniature chocolate chips in the freezer.
Break the almond bark into pieces and place in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 45 second increments until melted.
Remove the almond bark from the microwave and stir in the peanut butter until completely combined.
Add the rice krispies and stir to coat. Let the mixture cool until lukewarm.
Add the marshmallows and stir to coat. Add the frozen chocolate chips and stir until combined.
Place 2 tablespoon sized drops of the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with remaining mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips, you'll need to work quickly before the cookies harden!
Cool completely until firm then serve. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

(Recipe adapted from Slow Roasted Italian)

This post was edited for content on 15 May 2019.

~Cie~




Sunday, May 12, 2019

Products I Can't Quite Wrap My Head Around: Naked Babe Wall Decal



I'm honestly not sure if anyone but Austin Powers would want this decal on their wall, but if that sort of thing really is your bag, Baby, I invite you to go for it. 



If you need further decorating inspiration, you can also pick up the Austin Powers video guides to fashionable and successful living. Get all three for just ten bucks, Baby! But hurry, because this great deal may not last long at these prices.
The sticker people have other decorative decals as well, just in case the naked babe decal really isn't your bag, Baby.

~Cie~